Alinta Energy fined for switching customers without consent

Alinta Energy has paid $40,000 for allegedly switching customers without their consent.

An investigation by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) found two South Australian customers contacted by Alinta sales agents were transferred without their consent.

It was evident during the calls 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,” AER board member Jim Cox said.

“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.

“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.”

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.