Phone claims empower ACCC against EnergyAustralia
The consumer watchdog is taking EnergyAustralia to court for its phone selling practices.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says EnergyAustralia and its telemarketing company Bright Choice has breached Australian Consumer Law.
The ACCC says the businesses made false or misleading representations to consumers while pushing them into energy contracts over the phone.
Specifically, the ACCC alleges that Bright Choice signed up numerous consumers in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland without their knowledge or consent.
The ACCC will argue that Bright Choice told consumers on the phone that they were not being signed up to an energy agreement, but instead would be sent a simple information package.
However, the ACCC says Bright Choice then entered these consumers into its contract system, causing EnergyAustralia then to send out welcome packs and begin treating the customers as having just signed up.
The ACCC says the phone tactics and welcome packs carried false, misleading and deceptive representations.
“The ACCC's message is clear – energy companies must act to ensure that their sales agents and representatives do not engage in unlawful sales tactics, whether they are selling door to door or telemarketing,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.
Separately, the Australian Energy Regulator is also taking action against EnergyAustralia over alleged breaches of the National Energy Retail Law.
The regulator says the company failed to get the informed consent of consumers before moving them over to new energy plans.