Power company accused of profiting from the poor
A pay-as-you-go power company is being accused of trying to profiteer from poverty, for charging $110 for a written statement needed for benefit application.
Customers of Glo-Bug say they cannot pay because they are already struggling.
A beneficiary called Jasmine says she tried unsuccessfully for six months to get a full disability allowance for her son, who has asthma and rheumatic fever, but she can't afford the statement.
Jasmine says Work & Income could not believe how much Glo-Bug wanted to charge her for the 12-month statement.
"At first they didn't believe me," she says, "and it left my application hanging for a while because I had to figure out some way to show that without coming up with $110."
Glo-Bug general manager Luke Blincoe says the company no longer charges the fee and is trying to put the situation right.
"This is an outdated service," he says, "and a fee that has only been charged once in the last two years across all of our 17,000 customers. It's now been removed from our system."
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