Energy retailer Alinta Energy has paid numerous penalty notices to the Essential Services Commission (ESC) for alleged breaches of Explicit Informed Consent obligations.
A retailer is prohibited from requesting the transfer of a customer without EIC. The alleged breach was that Alinta Energy’s agents failed to obtain EIC for customers who were then switched to Alinta Energy. According to reports in a newspaper the agents used false accents to pretend to be the customers in question.
This penalty highlights the importance of retailers having robust processes in place to prevent EIC breaches and fraud by agents. Even a verification call can be thwarted by a clever sales agent. As discussed elsewhere, retailers should pay careful attention to the incentive structures they use for sales. If a group of people are incentivised to obtain sales, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some within that group resort to illegal or unethical means to obtain that incentive.