A credit repair agent contacted EWON on behalf of a customer who had a default listed on his credit file in December 2017 for an electricity account debt of $2,250. The customer was experiencing personal and financial hardship when the default was listed and considered the default listing unreasonable. The customer did not become aware of the default listing until over three years later, when he applied for finance. The customer had since paid the debt in full. The credit repair agent attempted to resolve the complaint with the energy provider, but the provider declined to remove the default listing. EWON referred the complaint back to the retailer at a senior level in the first instance. The credit repair agent returned to EWON and advised that the complaint was not resolved.
During the investigation, EWON confirmed that the customer was aware that as a free service, EWON could deal with him directly at no cost if he preferred. The customer advised that he had already paid $1,000 to the credit repair agent, with a further $500 payable if the default listing was removed. As he had already made a payment, he elected for the credit repair agent to remain his advocate for the EWON complaint.
The credit repair agent had raised several potential issues with the default listing, but EWON’s review indicated that none of these provided a reasonable basis for the default to be removed. EWON’s investigation identified that a portion of the $2,250 default amount was not overdue by 60 days when the default was listed. Compliant default listings require the whole amount of a debt be overdue by at least 60 days. On this basis, the energy retailer agreed to remove the default listing. EWON communicated the outcome to the customer, but he did not advise EWON whether he paid the additional $500 to the credit repair agent.