Government power suppliers 'luddites'


p2302kerbside-rubbishSir – I have a holiday house in SA. The power is supplied by AGL.
For a while now, AGL have had a smartphone App, where you can check your usage, the amount of your current and previous bills and most importantly, it has the facility for you to pay your bill, instantly via the App. Of equal importance though, is that AGL send your bill via email.
The obvious advantages are that you are not reliant on Australia Post and you receive the bill, wherever you are.
This is very different from the Territory (current and past) electricity supplier. They send paper bill via snail mail. It is not unusual to receive them 10 to 14 days after the date on the bill. It is difficult to ascertain where the delay actually is, but that’s another story.
If you happen to take your annual leave and go for a holiday and you bill comes, you are not here so the bill doesn’t get paid, and they cut your power off. Then you pay the reconnection fee and shortly thereafter visit the whitegoods shop to replace your now rancid fridge and freezer, followed by a trip to the supermarket to replace all the food.
The responses from Jacana and former PWC? Their suggestion to alleviate this, is to pay upfront. Great if you can see into the future I guess. (I would win lotto if I could do that.)
In this day and age, why is it that Jacana, (Formerly PWC, a wholly owned Company of the NT Government), can’t do the same as AGL?
The most frustrating thing about this is, that as usual responses from Jacana and the government have been, “it’s just the way it is, or we are working on it”. It’s like they don’t really see this as an issue and this is quite frightening when you read between the lines.
The simple, interim and acceptable solution would be to, email the bills, don’t worry about the Smart App yet.
In fairness, I guess smartphones have only been around for 10 years and emails have only been around for 25 years, so we shouldn’t expect too much from the luddites I suppose.
Paul Lewis
Alice Springs


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