EnergyAustralia, one of Australia’s leading energy retailers, reiterated its opposition to door-to-door sales of electricity and gas contracts and called for the industry to voluntarily end the practice immediately.
“Customers absolutely do not want strangers turning up unannounced at their front door and asking them questions about their personal financial arrangements,” said Catherine Tanna, EnergyAustralia Managing Director.
“Customers want control of their relationships with energy retailers, including when they get in touch and the manner in which that contact occurs. Instead, ‘door knocking’ is intrusive and, frankly, can make people feel uncomfortable and unsafe.
“EnergyAustralia stopped door knocking in 2013 because it was the right thing to do. There’s no good reason for the practice and we’d like to see all retailers do the right thing and stop door-to-door sales,” Catherine said.
In 2014 EnergyAustralia paid a $1.2 million penalty to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission to settle six complaints in 2011 and 2012 about door-to-door activities by marketing and sales companies hired by EnergyAustralia.
EnergyAustralia ceased making door-to-door sales in March 2013. AGL Energy and Origin Energy have also since dropped the practice.
EnergyAustralia has invested to improve sales and service through traditional and alternate channels. In particular it has expanded its digital options, so customers can manage their accounts online when it suits them. Additionally, the company has increased operating hours at its contact centres.
“Feedback from customers is clear: first, they want control and, second, they do not want door-to-door sales,” Catherine said. “All retailers should listen to their customers and do the right thing by quitting this intrusive, unwanted practice right now.”