I have had contact with a loyal reader with a story to tell about Genesis Energy. I’ll let his words explain.
My daughter and her asthmatic boyfriend moved out to a new home and advised Genesis that they had moved into xxx Coatesville-Riverhead Highway and would like them to be their energy supplier. Genesis says thanks and sent them out a welcome letter to that address (which they received).
Now this house is one of two on a bit of land, and this is where the problems come in.
The kids can show that their address is xxx Coatesville-Riverhead Highway. – They a have tenancy agreement for that address, have their bond lodged against that address, have receipts for payment at that address. They have NEVER been told that there address is any different, but Genesis in their infinite wisdom refer to their home as xxxA Coatesville-Riverhead Highway – because their system doesn’t allow two meters to be listed on the same address.
So at about 10.30 in the morning of the 9th July Genesis sent a contractor out to their property to disconnect power because they had not made any “application for power”. The home was clearly occupied, and there was music going, windows open and the tenant was in the shower.
The contractor didn’t make efforts to provide warning or more importantly to check if anyone inside relied on power for medical reasons, simply leaving a card on the door (addressed to “the occupier” disconnecting the power and running off (They actually saw him leaving).
Being a country home on tank water (requiring a pump) – they were left with no heating, no running water and no ability to flush the toilet.
We contacted Genesis within 15 mins of the disconnection and continued to contact them during the day, and well into the evening (the last call at 9pm lasting over an hour). During all this time we were told several times that the power had been fixed – each time it hadn’t (Genesis never thought of actually calling back and checking with the customer).
In the evening the home was too cold to remain in so the kids packed up and came to our home to sleep. Because Adam had been sitting in the cold/damp for the entire day waiting for Genesis his asthma started playing up and by the time he arrived at our home he was having trouble breathing. We could not get it better – and he ended up having to go to Northshore hospital to get it under control before it broke into a fully fledged asthma attack.
The next morning we were advised that power was restored – the kids returned to the house and (you guessed it) – there still wasn’t power.
Finally Genesis worked out that they have disconnected what ‘they’ called xxxA.
We were advised that Genesis chose to disconnect as they had it listed as a vacant possession and they do this for safety reasons.
We call bullshit as:
1 – this isn’t actually the address of the house
2 – It is very obvious that the house IS tenanted and that there was someone there at the time – this is all visible from where the card was left.
3 – The card gave a totally different reason – it was addressed to “the occupier” and that the reason was that they had made no application for power (which they had)
Power was finally restored around 1pm the following day.
I spoke to the company over two important points:
1. How can they disconnect power to a property without warning or notice to the person in the house – especially after all the issues with the death of a customer last year – do they not learn anything.
2. Compensation should be forthcoming to the tenants – after all they had been disconnected in error, had been made to wait out there for Genesis for an entire day in the cold, without water or flushing toilets. And there were many, many lost hours on the phone – driving between properties as theirs was unsuitable to sleep in, and the contribution that this made to Adam’s health subsequently requiring him to go to hospital.
I spoke to a number of people – finally finishing with Richard Gordon the “Public Affairs Manager”.
His views were interesting. He told me that the contractor has knocked on the door and verified that the house was vacant.
This is obviously untrue for all the reasons I mention above.
Then he told me that they were not entitled to any compensation as “They had told is their address was xxx Coatesville-Riverhead Highway and we don’t call it that – So its their own fault for giving us the wrong address”
I explained that Genesis could call it whatever they wanted but they gave the correct address – he would not be moved, so I told him I was going to lodge a complaint with the disputes tribunal and contact the media – He seemed quite happy or even amused with this – so I have – And that is HIS own fault.
This will in all likelihood now turn into a PR disaster for Genesis Energy. Why do so-called PR people always call people’s bluff when they say they are going to the media? Silly, silly man.
Front up Genesis Energy, admit you made a mistake and do it quick before this turns into another Jetstar.