Electricity, gas or water: a written complaint can be made and an attempt at conciliation can be made
Wrong bill, what can be done? Electricity, gas or water, you can proceed with a written complaint and attempt to reconcile to know laleggepertutti.it. If the bill is high, it is not certain that the fault lies with the user and excessive consumption, it could instead be a fault with an appliance (in the case of the electricity bill), a leaking pipe (in the case of the electricity bill). water) or, even more often, a billing error or a meter failure. From a practical point of view, the consumer could be faced with a task that is anything but simple: that of proving the mistake committed by the supplier company. But, as we will see shortly, things are simpler than they appear.
How to tell if the bill is wrong?
When signing the supply contract, the user agrees to receive the consumption calculation based on the meter. In light of this, the bill is assumed to be correct. But it is not a presumption that leaves no room for proof to the contrary. You can always dispute the wrong bill. Like? Just raise a dispute motivating it with the unreasonableness of the amount compared to the consumption made in the same period of the previous years and with the use of the apartment. For example, it is unlikely that the holiday home has an excessive consumption of light in the winter month or that a home inhabited by only one person could have an electricity bill that is tripled compared to the previous months.
Therefore, to prove that the bill is wrong, it is sufficient to make use of simple presumptions: the more or less intense use of the property at certain times of the year, the number of occupants, the destination of the apartment (if, for example, for office use , home, business), the absence of the user at home, the bills of the previous months and years (as a comparison) and so on. Faced with the user’s dispute, says the Supreme Court, the water service manager must prove that the high consumption is not caused by an anomaly in the meter. So it is the company that has to prove the correct functioning of the appliance. At the same time, the user of the service must be able to demonstrate that he has diligently guarded the system and supervised to avoid the intrusion of third parties.
For Palazzaccio “in terms of supply contracts, the measurement of consumption by meter is supported by a simple presumption of truthfulness; so that, in the event of a dispute, the burden of proving that the meter was perfectly functioning rests on the provider, while the user must demonstrate that the excess consumption is due to factors outside his control and that he could not have avoided with a ‘careful custody of the system, or having diligently supervised so that any intrusions by third parties could not alter the normal functioning of the meter or cause an increase in consumption “. Therefore, the administrator must demonstrate the perfect functionality of the meter and the user, on the contrary, must give a release proof that allows to attribute the excessive consumption to an external element and not attributable to the contractor.
Who is responsible for proving that the bill is wrong?
With another and more recent ruling, the Supreme Court reiterated the same principles: if the user disputes the bill, it is the manager who must prove that the meter works. On the contrary, the user must demonstrate that excessive consumption is linked to factors external to his control and, in any case, inevitable even with careful care of the system on his part. Piazza Cavour, departing from the decision on the merits, recalled that “in terms of administration with registration of consumption through the use of mechanical or electronic equipment, it is up to the user to contest the malfunction of the meter – requesting its verification – and demonstrate the extent of the consumption made during the period. On the other hand, the operator bears the burden of proving that the measuring instrument is regularly functioning and, in this case, the user is required to demonstrate that the excess consumption is attributable to third parties and, also , that the abusive use has not been facilitated by its negligent conduct in adopting suitable control measures to prevent illegal conduct of others “.
In short, in the event of a dispute, the burden of proving that the meter was perfectly functioning rests on the provider, while the user must demonstrate that the excess consumption is due to factors outside his control and that he could not have avoided with careful custody of the system, or to have diligently supervised so that any intrusions by third parties could not alter the normal functioning of the meter or cause an increase in consumption.
How to dispute the wrong bill
The first thing you need to do to contest a wrong bill (be it for electricity, water or gas) is to send a written complaint by registered letter with return receipt with certified e-mail to the supplier company.
The complaint must indicate:
name and surname of the user;
supply contract number (detectable from the bill);
bill that is assumed to be wrong;
reasons that lead to believe that the bill is incorrect;
specification of whether or not payment has already been made (attaching the payment receipt if necessary);
request for refund of the amount (with re-credit or with deduction from the amount of subsequent bills).
The supplier company has 40 days to decide on the complaint. In the meantime, pending the decision, it cannot suspend the supply to the user. If the complaint is accepted, the company must, within 90 days of receipt of the complaint, re-credit any excess amount already paid by the user, otherwise it will have to cancel the invoice by issuing a credit note.
If the complaint is not accepted or is not found, it is necessary to proceed to the conciliation attempt with the AEGG, the Authority for Electricity and Gas. The procedure is telematic and does not require a lawyer. It is necessary to present a copy of the written complaint sent to the manager and ask for an online meeting to be arranged to find an amicable solution with the counterparty.
To promote recourse to the AEGG you can act in one of the following ways:
by sending an email to [email protected]
by sending a fax to 800 185 025
by post to: Office for the energy consumer c / o Single Buyer via Guidubaldo Del Monte 72, 00197 Rome.
If the conciliation attempt does not produce results, it will be possible to act before the judge with the assistance of a lawyer. In this case it will be necessary to anticipate the out-of-pocket expenses for the civil case.