Ombudsman willing to investigate claims of overcharging on utility bills

This is a victory for consumers, PN MEP Michael Briguglio says

Ombudsman is willing to investigate individual consumer complaints on overcharging
Ombudsman is willing to investigate individual consumer complaints on overcharging

The Ombudsman is willing to investigate claims of overcharging on utility bills if consumers file direct complaints with his office.

The information was communicated to Nationalist Party MEP candidate Michael Briguglio who had written to the Ombudsman on the matter.

“The Ombudsman has informed me that he is ready to investigate any bill that is brought to his attention by the injured party. This is a big victory for consumers in the face of the lack of action by other authorities,” Briguglio told MaltaToday.

Controversy erupted last year when the billing system used by State agency ARMS was called out by various consumers because the annual quota of free electricity units was being rationed on a monthly basis. This led to billing at higher rates for those who were receiving their bills every two months.

Briguglio had written to the consumer and competition authority in Malta and other entities, asking them to investigate the billing method adopted by ARMS. The complaints were ignored.

“I met ARMS a few weeks ago and they said the decision was not theirs to take but the government’s,” Briguglio said, adding that there has been no outcome yet from an internal investigation requested by Energy Minister Joe Mizzi last year.

Briguglio said that the billing method adopted by ARMS was cheating consumers. “If I am elected to the European Parliament, I will be taking this up further because this is abuse by a State monopoly,” he added.

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