Defunct retailer Click Energy has paid penalties totalling $640,000 after it was alleged to have engaged in dodgy sales tactics, according to the Victorian regulator.
The Essential Services Commission (ESC) issued the provider with 32 penalty notices after a sales agent allegedly switched over customers without their consent in September 2020.
ESC Chair Kate Symons said this type of behaviour from rogue sales agents acting on behalf of energy providers damages consumer trust.
“Consumers must have confidence they will only be switched from one energy retailer to another after they are properly informed and have given their consent to the switch,” she said.
It is alleged that between 1 and 25 September 2020, an external sales contractor operating on behalf of Click Energy processed transfer requests for 20 customers, across 32 accounts, without their knowledge or permission.
Click Energy advised it had updated internal processes to prevent occurrences like these happening in the future, despite Click’s parent company at the time – Amaysim Energy – fined for a similar offence back in April 2020.
Ms Symons added: “Taking strong enforcement action is a message to Click Energy and the industry as a whole to prevent customers being transferred without their consent.
“Retailers are responsible for the actions of their sales agents and we will not hesitate to act to stamp out energy retailers gaining customers by allegedly fraudulent means.”
In March 2020, Alinta Energy was penalised $280,000 for engaging in similar tactics when third-party agents working for the company allegedly switched Victorians onto contracts without each customer’s explicit informed consent.
Image credit: Galyna Motizova/Shutterstock.com