Sumo in hot water over allegedly misleading energy customers

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Sumo is in hot water after the consumer watchdog alleged the energy provider misled customers over electricity pricing in Victoria.

According to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), Sumo advertised 12-month electricity contracts with low rates and large pay on time discounts of up to 43 per cent, while rates were likely scheduled to increase shortly after customers signed up.

The ACCC states that some residential customers who signed up to Sumo between June and November 2018 experienced a rate increase of 30 to 46 per cent, which nullified the promoted pay on time discount.

“We allege Sumo enticed customers to enter into electricity plans with the promise of low cost electricity prices, while planning a significant rate increase which meant consumers were charged significantly more for their electricity than they were led to expect,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

It is further alleged by the ACCC that the home bundled utility provider also misinformed customers by announcing price increases were a result of ‘wholesale energy cost factors including generation cost rises’.

Lastly, the ACCC claims that telemarketing agents employed by Sumo were represented as independent consultants when deliberately promoting Sumo’s electricity plans.

Mr Sims added: “We allege that consumers were likely to have been convinced to switch to Sumo, acting on recommendations from purported independent consultants when in fact they came from Sumo telemarketing agents.”

This comes less than a week after another small energy provider, Locality Planning Energy (LPE), paid a $10,500 penalty for allegedly breaching the Electricity Retail Code by failing to provide sufficient plan and pricing information on its website.

Compare Energy Prices

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4600kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Image credit: Nuttsue/Shutterstock.com

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