The Federal Court has fined EnergyAustralia a whopping $1 million for misleading consumers over its gas and electricity plans.
The Court ruled the energy provider and its former telemarketing subsidiary, Bright Choice Australia, made false or misleading representations between August 2012 and April 2013, following action by the competition watchdog the ACCC.
Bright Choice was fined $100,000 for its involvement in telephoning residents in Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland.
The ACCC argued that Bright Choice told consumers they were not being signed up to an energy agreement and could decide whether they wanted to switch energy providers. But the company recorded them as “having agreed to enter into a contract” and sent a “welcome pack containing contractual documents” as having agreed to switch suppliers.
Bright Choice was banned from engaging in similar conduct for five years and must maintain a compliance program for three years.
It’s not the first time EnergyAustralia’s selling practices have caught the ACCC’s attention and the wrath of the courts.
In April last year, the company was fined $1.2 million for unlawful door-to-door selling.
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