Alinta fined $280k for dodgy sales agents
A national energy retailer has been fined $280,000 for using door-to-door salespeople to sign up Victorians without their consent.
Alinta Energy has been hit with 14 penalty notices for using door-to-door sales agents in Melton and Truganina, in Melbourne's west, and Wodonga, in regional Victoria between March 2018 and March 2019.
Three groups of salespeople acting on behalf of the retailer engaged in fraudulent behaviour by impersonating customers in phone calls to sign them on energy contracts, the Essential Services Commission said on Tuesday.
Commission chairperson Kate Symons said signing up customers by fraudulent means must be stamped out.
"Alinta has demonstrated its fraud prevention controls were deeply flawed and open to exploitation by deceitful sales agents," she said.
"In most of the cases, the company only became aware of the falsified sales when customers called to complain."
Victorian energy customers should only be transferred from one retailer to another once informed, and with their consent, she said.
Alinta Energy was fined $300,000 in August 2018 for similar breaches.
The retailer told AAP it ended door-to-door sales in July 2019.
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