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# 215457 28-Jun-2017 14:18
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Short Version

 

If you have an Electric Kiwi outage or fault call them on 0800 843 5494.

 

They may ask you to call your lines company. Our lines (Wellington Electricity) company only takes emergency faults directly, otherwise it's meant to go via the power company. However, if you call WE and hit the emergency line they will accept a fault report. I'm not sure how other lines companies work.

 

The Problem

 

The phone number on the Electric Kiwi website listed under "Wellington" is answered by someone who says they can't help with Wellington power outages. The only way myself and a friend could get power restored is to call the Wellington Electric Emergency Fault line on 0800 248 148.

 

They will tell you to call your power provider, but Electric Kiwi doesn't seem to provide an our of hours fault service. So you'll have to tell WE that and ask them very nicely to fix your power. If you have young children or similar tell them that.

 

Long Version

 

We moved to Electric Kiwi (EK) a couple of days ago. This morning our power went out at around 5:15am.

 

As far as I'm aware EK hadn't provided any information about what to do in the event of faults. I went to their website on my phone to try to find a way to contact them. The website says

 

 

 

 

So I called Wellington Electricity (WE). They say "if this is not an emergency regarding potential loss of life or public danger please call your power company".

 

So I go back to the EK website. At 5:20am probably not entirely awake or in a particularly good mood I couldn't see any way to call EK so I called WE back, went to their emergency line, and they did let me report a fault on the emergency line because we have a small child.

 

 

 

Looking into it more, when you scroll down some more on the EK website you see this.

 

 

 

 

That phone number under the block labeled "Wellington Electricity" is actually the Electric Kiwi fault line. When you call it they give you options to be put through to your local lines company, or hit 0 to talk to their faults and outages service. I believe it is a 24 hour line. That one phone number works for any of their customers in any area, yet it's well hidden.

 

 

 

The Electric Kiwi website really needs to say more clearly how to contact them in the event of a fault or outage. Since everything is online, no printed bills to refer to, they really need to make it much easier to find a way to call them.

 

If you're an EK customer I suggest you go to their web page and put their contact number and the number for your local lines company into your phone. The number is 0800 843 5494.

 

 

 

Update

 

Later, a friend called the number listed on the Electric Kiwi website for a fault in Wellington on a Sunday. Electric Kiwi told them they didn't provide a faults service in Wellington, and to call the lines company. The lines company told my friends they had to log the problem with their power company - Electric Kiwi. As a result there's effectively no faults service for Wellington Electric Kiwi customers outside business hours.

 

Fortunately Wellington Electricity will go around their standard process when you tell them things like "we have a young baby that needs to be kept warm, bottles washed, and food heated".


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  # 1808416 28-Jun-2017 18:29

In Auckland you just contact Vector to report faults. Much more efficient than every power company having to run 24 hour fault helpdesks. And it means that you can report a fault for a site without having to figure out which power company supplies that site.

Vector also have a good app that shows current outages, allows you to report outages, and you can load addresses into. So it will notify you if there is a power cut to any of those addresses.





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  # 1808418 28-Jun-2017 18:33
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Aredwood: In Auckland you just contact Vector to report faults.

 

For the sake of reference: Same in the Eastern BOP; call Horizon.

 

Edit: Actually, Horizon's site says to call your retailer, but last time I had an outage my retailer asked me to call Horizon!

 

Also, "We are in the process of commissioning an outage management system that will give a graphical representation of all known outages. We are working towards making this available for public use during January 2017." Yeah, OK... although I shouldn't complain too much considering that I found a note on my employer's site today about the "recent" (Oct 2011) oil spill!


 
 
 
 


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  # 1808429 28-Jun-2017 18:50
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Good info to know @timmmay 

 

Reading that page I just assumed that 0800 # was actually WE's so was as confused as you were


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  # 1808431 28-Jun-2017 18:57
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If it was me, I would be ringing the company I pay the money to, you pay them to give you electricity, it is their problem to deal with when the power goes out.


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  # 1808457 28-Jun-2017 19:30
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I'm with Electric Kiwi and we had a fault the other week.

 

I didn't think to call electric kiwi - got straight on the phone with Vector and they sent a tech out within an hour.

 

Strange that your lines provider said to contact your retialer though... why not just message electric kiwi and ask them what to do in those situations?




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  # 1808464 28-Jun-2017 19:38
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gregmcc:

 

If it was me, I would be ringing the company I pay the money to, you pay them to give you electricity, it is their problem to deal with when the power goes out.

 

 

Same here, call the people you pay. That's what I've always done in the past. We have outages a few times a year, the power company always dealt with it.

 

 

 

simon14:

 

 

 

Strange that your lines provider said to contact your retialer though... why not just message electric kiwi and ask them what to do in those situations?

 

 

I don't know why WE says to contact your power company. I just know what their phone system says.

 

I could message Electric Kiwi because their support is 8am to 10am, my fault was 5:20am. There is no contact phone number for EK clearly listed on their website. We had to get the baby's food ready, so I wasn't particularly happy with them.

 

All in all I've found EK customer service to be good when you ask questions, their chat system is great, but this is a huge oversight. My faith in them as a power provider is now low.


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  # 1808468 28-Jun-2017 19:41
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I mean, why don't you message them now just to find out what they suggest you do in future? Tell them the lines provider said to contact your eletric company.... be interested to see what they say.


 
 
 
 




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  # 1808474 28-Jun-2017 19:52
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simon14:

 

I mean, why don't you message them now just to find out what they suggest you do in future? Tell them the lines provider said to contact your eletric company.... be interested to see what they say.

 

 

I did call them this afternoon. I had to wait for the chat line to open to find the number. They gave me the phone number, but I couldn't find it this morning.

 

They said "the number is there on the contact page". Which is true. It's just obfuscated under a Wellington Electricity logo and a link saying "go to the Wellington Electricity website". Based on that I assumed it was the WE phone number. Remember this was at 5:20am, baby woken up, half asleep, using a phone. The page is very, very long on the phone screen. When I told my wife what page the contact number was on she couldn't find it. I had to actually point at it, she thought it was the WE number as well.

 

EK apologised, but it seemed perfunctory. They can find the number on their website, though one person did see my point. I suspect they might change it eventually. There's also no general contact number for EK on their website, as far as I can see.

 

Can anyone tell me if the faults number is on their EK bill?


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  # 1808485 28-Jun-2017 20:07
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My invoices says:

 

 

 

In case of an electricity outage, please contact Vector on 0508 VECTOR or visit

 

www.vector.co.nz




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  # 1808508 28-Jun-2017 21:09
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Interesting. Maybe other lines companies do direct customer support for non-emergency situations.

 

I suspect EK will look into this and try to make sure that both they and WE are doing the right thing. I wouldn't know though, they wouldn't put me through to anyone with any authority to talk to so I doubt they'll let me know of any outcome.




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  # 1809301 30-Jun-2017 06:03
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I've been with EK for 3-4 days now, and they send out tips every day. Todays tip includes what to do about faults, including a phone number to call. It's good they do that, and I'm probably a bit unlucky that I had an outage before now.

 

The email is the same format as the website, and still implies that you call Wellington Electricity. It also says WE fixes all faults, which is true, but according to WE faults have to be logged with the power supplier. I wonder who's right - no easy way to know.


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  # 1810328 2-Jul-2017 08:06
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Behodar: For the sake of reference: Same in the Eastern BOP; call Horizon.

 

Edit: Actually, Horizon's site says to call your retailer, but last time I had an outage my retailer asked me to call Horizon!

 

Apparently I tempted fate by posting this, as my power went out last night. I called Trustpower (not the same retailer as last time) and the process was quick and easy - I didn't have to wait on hold and I didn't even have to give my address as they picked it up from the phone number. Power was back on about 3 minutes later :)


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  # 1810344 2-Jul-2017 09:18
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It comes down to the supply agreement between the retailer and the EDBs.

 

From there contact us page, its pretty easy to work out what each of the agreements looks like:

 

https://www.electrickiwi.co.nz/contact-us

 

 

 

The following EDBs are accepting there own fault calls:

 

  • Northpower
  • Vector
  • CountiesPower
  • WEL
  • Unison
  • Centralines
  • Electra

The following are requiring the retailer to take the fault calls:

 

  • Horizon
  • PowerCo
  • Wellington Electricity
  • Orion
  • Aurora

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  # 1810346 2-Jul-2017 09:22
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Sounds like maybe WE operate in a similar manner to Chorus, ie they fix the faults but faults (generally in this case) get logged through the provider. Interesting that it's different in various regions.

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  # 1810479 2-Jul-2017 16:50
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Yeah, times have changed.

 

Vector used to be that North and West parts of the network (what used to be United Networks) had to report to their Power Co and Central/East/South could report directly.

 

The main motivation appears to be that electricity outages are fairly binary, you either have power or not, and regardless of the fault cause, it's better to just talk to one company, considering if it's a "it's your fault/liability" outage, they bill you directly and not through the power company.  Unlike say Broadband where it could be your ISP's fault/outside Chorus' network.

 

I think over time we'll see all the power companies doing this, with the likes of Powershop, Flick, Electric Kiwi, Nova etc they must be all getting a bit of pressure to do what Vector etc are doing.


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