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Energy COS Passing Commercial Costs on to Vulnerable

Energy COS Passing Commercial Costs on to Vulnerable

Many hard hit Kiwis are being unfairly penalised by their energy company for paying bills over the post office counter, says Wigram MP Jim Anderton.

Hidden fees up to $1.50 per payment are being passed on to customers of SOE Meridian Energy, Mercury Energy (SOE Mighty River Power’s retail arm) and local energy company Bay of Plenty Electricity, in a bid to encourage other means of payment.

Jim Anderton said “The billpay service has always been in place as part of a commercial agreement between the post shop network and the energy companies. Recently a few rapacious energy companies, two of whom unfortunately happen to be state-owned enterprises, have been passing these costs on to customers.

“People who pay their bills via the post shop do so because they don’t have bank accounts or access to a computer Usually they are elderly or poor. For energy companies to single out certain customers for extra fees is unfeeling at best and greedy at worst.

“People should not be punished for paying their bills in cash or in person. Many elderly people will never use internet banking or pay via direct debit as they don’t trust these methods and prefer the interaction of dealing with someone at the counter.

“Energy companies need to show a bit more compassion for their customers and understand their needs better. Counter payment fees should be bourne by the energy companies as part of their normal overhead costs”, says Jim Anderton.


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