IPower Pty Limited (IPower), trading as Simply Energy (in partnership with IPower 2 Pty Limited), has paid a penalty of $20,400 following the issue of two infringement notices by the ACCC for alleged misleading door-to-door sales conduct.
In separate instances in 2014, sales representatives selling Simply Energy electricity products visited the homes of two consumers in Victoria for the purpose of switching them from their existing electricity supplier to Simply Energy. It is alleged that the sales representatives told the consumers that there was an ‘urgent problem’ or ‘something wrong’ with their existing electricity supply, when this was not the case.
The infringement notices were issued because the ACCC had reasonable grounds to believe that IPower made false or misleading representations about the standard or quality of goods in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law.
“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,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“The ACCC will continue to take appropriate enforcement action against retailers who do not comply with their obligations under the Australian Consumer Law.”
The payment of a penalty specified in an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the Australia Consumer Law. The ACCC can issue an infringement notice where it has reasonable grounds to believe a person has contravened certain consumer protection laws.
The infringement notices are available at:
- IPower Pty Limited (trading as Simply Energy in partnership with IPower 2 Pty Limited) - 1415-006
- IPower Pty Limited (trading as Simply Energy in partnership with IPower 2 Pty Limited) - 1415-007
The ACCC has previously taken court action and obtained penalties against EnergyAustralia, Neighbourhood Energy, Australian Power & Gas Company, AGL and Origin Energy in respect of door-to-door marketing conduct. Following the ACCC’s enforcement action against several energy retailers, a number of energy retail companies ceased door-to-door marketing activities.
The ACCC’s guide for consumers Knock! Knock! Who's There? provides information about consumer rights.