Victorian energy retailer Simply Energy has been fined $20,400 by the ACCC for allegedly using misleading door-to-door sales tactics.

Simply Energy is the trading name of IPower Pty Ltd. The business was accused of two separate incidents involving representatives seeling its products at the homes of two Victorian residents.

The sales reps are accused of telling the home owners there was an ‘urgent problem’ or ‘something wrong’ with their existing supply, when in fact there were no grounds for these claims.

These false or misleading statements allowed the reps to circumvent existing Do Not Knock laws preventing door-to-door sales people from hocking their wares to residents.

Rod Sims, chairman of the ACCC, said “Consumers have a right to expect that door-to-door sales representatives will not make false or misleading representations, or otherwise engage in unlawful sales tactics.”

As the big three energy retailers (AGL, EnergyAustralia, and Origin) withdraw from the door-to-door sales smaller operators move in to take their place.

Simply Energy, it seems, is attracting far more of the bad attention than its competitors with 25 complaints being filed to the ACCC in the current financial year.

Moreover, the Victorian Energy and water Ombudsman received more than 1300 complaints between July and September last year alone!

“When we look at the complaints we receive through the Do Not Knock website,” says Gerard Brody, from the Consumer Action Law Centre, “the number for Smply Energy is higher than for any other business. It seems to us there are still a lot of problems in this sector.”

The self-regulatory body Energy Assured says there are roughly 1200 door-to-door sales agents currently working in Australia. Chief executive of EA, Anne Whitehouse, says her organisation receives an average of five complaints a day for every 10,000 homes they visit. She went on to defend the industry’s right to engage in door-to-door sales as smaller retailers have few other options of reaching this market.

300 door-to-door agents have been deregistered or banned since 2012, most for poor behaviour. It is estimated most of these have moved on to selling private college courses.

About The Author

Someone you can depend on to respect you and care for your dog. Let me help you give your dog the life it deserves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.