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"This is an outdated service," he says, "and a fee that has only been charged once in the last two years across all of our 17,000 customers.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."

Listen to more on Morning Report ( 3 min 11 sec )

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