SHORT CIRCUIT: Ipswich residents who live in the 4306 postcode have been urged to check if they are eligible for a discount. (inset) Nanango MP Deb Frecklington.
SHORT CIRCUIT: Ipswich residents who live in the 4306 postcode have been urged to check if they are eligible for a discount. (inset) Nanango MP Deb Frecklington. Will Hunter

4306 postcode strikes again: Discount deal mix-up

IPSWICH residents on city's western side have been wrongly told a 25% discount electricity deal doesn't apply to them, as the '4306 postcode drama' strikes again.

Last month the State Government announced a new electricity provider had moved into the south-east, to ease the burden of growing electricity prices.

New provider Alinta offered the massive 25% discount as part of its joint venture with CS Energy.

The deal was extended to all Energex customers but some Ipswich residents have been told they weren't eligible, despite living within the Energex distribution area.

The confusion came from two fronts; the website and the call centre.

The website invites residents to check their eligibility by using a postcode.

Last week, if you entered the 4306 postcode, a message popped up saying the deal wasn't offered in that area.

The problem was exacerbated further by ill-informed Alinta call centre staff who told numerous eligible customers they could not switch over.

 

Deputy Opposition leader Deb Frecklington (centre) accused State Development Minister Anthony Lynham of under-funding councils in LNP seats.
Deputy Opposition leader Deb Frecklington (centre) accused State Development Minister Anthony Lynham of under-funding councils in LNP seats. SAMANTHA MANCHEE

Now, after the issue was brought to light by a neighbouring MP Nanango's Deb Frecklington, whose constituents are also embroiled in the 4306 postcode dramas, that message has changed with residents invited to call to check their eligibility.

Call centre staff have also been given more information about who is and is not entitled.

Mrs Frecklington said it was a good outcome for Ipswich residents to find out they are in fact eligible, unlike those in her electorate who have been cut out of the deal.

She said her constituents, who weren't eligible, were still regularly seeing television ads spruiking the deal for the whole of "south-east Queensland".

"It's a slap in the face for them," Mrs Frecklington said.

"My constituents would obviously like an opportunity to have competition in the market too."

She said her office had fielded many calls from concerned residents struggling to pay the power bill who felt "misled".

Ipswich West MP Jim Madden said the Alinta Energy team had been "re-briefed... to ensure they didn't automatically exclude the mixed coverage postcodes.

He said the entire electorate of Ipswich West was within the Energex distribution area, including Amberley, Blacksoil, Karalee, Chuwar, Pine Mountain, Fernvale and Walloon, as well as neighbouring suburbs such as Karana Downs, Mt Crosby, Ripley and Willowbank.

A spokesperson for Alinta Energy confirmed residents in the 4306 postcode area needed to phone if they wanted to switch over.

"There are a number of postcodes that include both Energex and Ergon coverage," the spokesperson said.

"For anyone in those postcodes, they can call us and we will be able to tell from their address whether they can sign up."

It means signing up online is not an option for anyone in the 4306 postcode area.

Customers in the Energex Distribution Area who live in postcode 4306 should call Alinta on 13 13 25 to sign up.

Key points on Alinta Energy deal

  • 25% off electricity usage charges for 24 months
  • 24 month benefit period, no lock in contract and no exit fees 
  • late payment fees may apply, read more here