Energy Australia Fined $1m in Federal Court

Energy Australia has become the latest electricity retailer to be slapped with a substantial fine for its door-to-door sales practices.

The Federal Court has ordered Energy Australia to pay $1.2 million, a decision which follows fines to other energy retailers in recent years for similar sales tactics.

Energy Australia has become the latest electricity retailer to be slapped with a substantial fine for its door-to-door sales practices.

The Federal Court has ordered Energy Australia to pay $1.2 million, a decision which follows fines to other energy retailers in recent years for similar sales tactics.

The court found Energy Australia sales staff made false and misleading representations and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct while calling on consumers in their homes to renegotiate electricity agreements.

The message to the industry is clear: Energy companies must act now to ensure that their sales agents and representatives comply with the Australian Consumer Law and do not engage in illegal sales practices.

During the court case, the ACCC singled out several alleged assertions made by sales agents, including that:

  • There was a mandated electricity rate or tariff that consumers were required to be charged, and that the consumer’s current retailer was charging at higher than this mandated electricity rate or tariff
  • The sales representative and Energy Australia’s rate or tariff had approval form, or sponsorship or affiliation with, the government
  • The sales representative was attending the consumer’s premises for the purpose of a government initiative to make sure energy companies were charging the correct rate or tariff
  • The consumer would be eligible for additional government entitlement that would reduce their electricity bills if the customer changed from their current retail electricity supplier to Energy Australia.

Energy Australia says it led the industry last year in banning door-to-door sales.

The company’s general manager of sales and marketing, David Hamilton, says his company worked cooperatively with the ACCC to reach an agreement.

Source: Yahoo! 7 Finance – “Energy Australia fined $1m in Federal Court over door-to-door sales practices”

Mary Kate Manning

Mary Kate enjoys her free time writing various stuff while dining with her home-cooked meals when she's not busy working as a manager. Enjoy her company by following her on Twitter at @MKateManning!

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