01.NSW Fair Trading to investigate electricity switching sites
NSW Fair Trading will launch investigations into electricity switching websites, following CHOICE’s super complaint on the issue.
CHOICE recently made a super complaint to NSW Fair Trading after investigations found that some electricity switching sites are making claims about ‘best deals’, their ‘impartiality’ and their ‘comprehensive’ coverage of the market.
However, in reality consumers don’t always end up with the best deal. We also found that there is a lack of transparency about commissions.
NSW Fair Trading has now released a report, responding to CHOICE's super complaint, and has agreed with CHOICE’s findings that further investigation is needed to establish whether switching sites are breaching the Australian Consumer Law. The conduct that NSW Fair Trading will be investigating includes:
- claims about cost savings, ‘cheapest’ and ‘best’ plans
- claims about impartiality
- claims about the pool of energy retailers used, and
- undisclosed commissions received by operators of websites.
NSW Fair Trading has also agreed that a voluntary industry code of conduct may improve the quality of switching sites. It has also committed to looking further into the telemarketing and door-to-door sales activities of energy retailers and reporting on this by the end of the year.
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