Alinta Energy has paid infringement notice penalties of $40,000 following an investigation by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).
The investigation found two South Australian customers contacted by Alinta sales agents were transferred without their consent. It was evident during the calls that the customers either did not wish to transfer to Alinta Energy or did not fully understand the nature and the purpose of the call to agree to any transfer.
“Energy retailers must ensure customers understand the reasons for sales calls and any agreement to transfer is informed and given freely.”
“Energy companies are responsible for what is said or done by their sales agents as the requirement to obtain explicit informed consent (EIC) is a fundamental protection under the Retail Law for energy customers,” AER Board Member Jim Cox said.
“Protecting vulnerable consumers and promoting confidence in the retail energy market are ongoing priorities for the AER and appropriate enforcement action will be taken where we see evidence of retailers failing to comply with their obligations,” Mr Cox said.
The AER issued the notices to Alinta for alleged breaches of the National Energy Retail Law for failing to obtain EIC before entering customers into new contracts with Alinta.