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Thousands of Vienna residents asked to pay back energy bonus due to IT glitch

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Thousands of Vienna residents asked to pay back energy bonus due to IT glitch
The Red Cross is opening more homeless shelter places after a string of attacks on homeless people in the city. Photo: Jacek Dylag

A letter demanding Vienna residents repay their energy bonus was sent out due to an IT error and should be ignored, the City of Vienna says.

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Thousands of Vienna residents are finding an unwelcome surprise in their letterboxes at the moment: an official letter from the Office of the Vienna Regional Government demanding that they repay their energy bonus subsidy.

The letters ask residents to pay either €200 or €400 back to the city within four weeks from the date of the letter. 

However, according to city officials, the letters were sent out by mistake due to "an IT glitch" and residents should ignore them. 

The energy bonus programme was launched by the city of Vienna in 2022 to help relieve households struggling with rising energy costs. Those who received the €200 subsidy in 2022 automatically received it in 2023, too.

READ ALSO: Vienna Energy Bonus 23: How to get your €200 payout

The city has apologised for the error, which has resulted in around 3,800 people receiving the false requests.

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The city of Vienna stated that the error occurred in a portion of the letters sent to randomly selected households to verify their eligibility for the energy bonus. The mistake happened because the letters to customers were composed of four different text modules, and in 3,800 cases, instead of receiving a request to submit documents, the recipients received a letter demanding repayment.

One way to recognise these letters is by the incorrect date: the letter states that missing documents should have been submitted by July 24th, 2023 - a date in the future.

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