Ellen's story: Elderly people at risk

One of the great things about the Do Not Knock sticker is that it can help protect vulnerable members of our community. Ellen recently contacted us about her experience of a gas supplier signing up her mother who was suffering from dementia:

 I live with my aged mother who is 81 years old and has dementia.

Last night I got home to find she had signed up to change my gas and power to a competing company. She couldn’t even explain to me what had happened – she didn’t understand and there is no way she would have been able to give the information required to do this without some major assistance which should have been a warning to the salesperson that she was not well.

 I got home and tried to stop the changeover but when I got onto the company’s call centre I waited for over 25 minutes on the phone. I only have a prepaid phone as I’m digging myself out of a hole and it has been tough. I have $29 phone credit to last a month.

Anyway, after the first call used up over half my credit, I got hung-up on by the company’s representative.  I called back waited another 10 minutes only to get told they can’t call me back – so I was left paying for the phone call. Then after a little more talking – I get told well mum had every right to sign the documents and there was nothing that they could do.

After explaining for the third time that she had dementia and that I had Power of Attorney, I was finally put through to a supervisor who then put me through to another department. After explaining the whole thing again and asking to be called back – which they refused even though I had used almost my whole month’s phone allowance – I finally got put through to Customer Cancellations after an additional 15 min – and FINALLY someone understood what I was saying, and he was able to call me back.

15 min later and the cancellation was put through

 I’m now going to put three Do Not Knock Signs up on the door and try and stop them again.

– Ellen

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