Lack of Contact caused frustration

Errors ignored for months

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 12/08/2014
Letitia Lindeque
CHARLOTTE CURD/ Fairfax NZ

BAD ENERGY: Letitia Lindeque has fought for months to get her online Contact account sorted.

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An Inglewood woman has been left frustrated and annoyed after Contact Energy's new computer system failed to recognise her payments.

And Letitia Lindeque, a vocal coach, believes many others could be in the same boat, and could be missing out on their generous discount of 22 per cent for early payment.

"Some people [who have paid online] will have disregarded the emails and then found they have lost three or four months' worth of discounts."

Lindeque has been with Contact for three years, in Auckland, New Plymouth, and now Inglewood.

She has always received her accounts by email and paid them online, either on the same day in which her emailed account arrives or, at the latest, by the following week to ensure she received the discount.

But for the last three months since Contact installed a new computer system she has been receiving emails to say her account is unpaid.

In fear of losing her early-payment discounts, she has tried to ring Contact - and waited three-quarters of an hour to get a reply.

The call failed to fix the problem as did an online complaint.

The same non-payment warnings continued to land in her inbox. The latest was dated July 30.

"Today I got my account for August and it says I'm overdue by $92.24. That is wrong."

Frustration mounting, she took to Contact's Facebook page to air her grievances - only to see many other customers were making the same complaint.

A Contact spokeswoman responded to questions from the Taranaki Daily News yesterday saying the company had discovered mistakes had been made with Lindeque's account.

"On investigation into Letitia's issues with paying her bills we have discovered that we were incorrectly applying her payments to an old account number she had with us.

"We apologise that it's taken us a while to get to the bottom of the issue and want to reassure Letitia that we have now fixed and resolved her issue.

"We're sorry for the frustration caused and appreciate Letitia's patience while we worked to make this right," the spokeswoman said.

When the paper phoned Lindeque with the good news she was very pleased and had already heard from Contact.

"Wonderful. But they could have fixed it when I rang back in May," she said

Contact said it had replaced 20 of its old computer systems with a single integrated system that would help improve the service.

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