Energy Provider Attempting to Deceive New Customer?

Hi everyone,

I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for it, but this happened to me last week and I want to share with everyone on here. A person knocked on my door and was telling me that all residents in this area (Glen Iris,VIC) should be getting at least 33% discount on their gas/electricity rates. At first, I didn't know if he was from the government or private energy provider because he did not say if he was with any of them. Then he requested to see my energy bills to see if I'm already getting the 33% discount rates.

Then I showed him one of my gas bills and he immediately said "You are only getting xx% discount, whereas you should be getting 33% discount. Let me fix that for you". This raised my suspicion, so I asked him how exactly do I get the 33% discount, do I need to change my energy provider? The next bit is where I think that sounds dodgy, he said "your energy provider will stay the same, which is United Energy who deliver energy to all households in this area, but your billing company will be different". Then he wanted me to get my drivers license so he can "fix" this up for me today. I checked his iPad and it clearly says he was with Alinta Energy, but not once did he mention he was with them. After all these confusions, I tried to get out of the deal by saying can I at least check the rates and T/C on your website so I can decide if I want proceed this change. His response was "Unfortunately the thing is we are only in this area today so we can only change it while we are here".

At the end I finally had enough and just told him that I'm not interested in your product and he just left.

I think I've learnt my lesson and I should've asked him who he was with in the first place. But my question is, when he told me that I should be getting 33% discount and my energy provider will remain the same (only difference is billing company), was that an attempt of deception? Did anyone else have similar experience with Alinta Energy sales representative?

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Alinta Energy
Alinta Energy


  • c'mon give the guy a break, probably gets the door slammed in his face 99 times out of 100,

    I cant see anything wrong what he said, did you think the electricity actually comes from another power station?

    • I know it's a tough job as I've met several door-to-door salesman. But if he had told me he was with Alinta Energy in the first place and had a brochure which explains their rates/offer in details, I probably wouldn't be posting up here. I just wish he could've been up front and honest, rather than telling me the vague "33% discount" and want me to switch to them right away.

    • i know its a rotton job but what he was saying is illegal - they are not allowed to say things like - "can I at least check the rates and T/C on your website so I can decide if I want proceed this change. His response was "Unfortunately the thing is we are only in this area today so we can only change it while we are here"
      thats why theres been plenty of fines.

  • +1

    Be very, very careful dealing with energy companies!! I was conned by a mob called Simply Energy. The deceptions abound: discounts which apply only to usage, increasing tariffs after solar installation, stepped tariffs, peak/off peak, etc. It's a minefield and comparisons are really difficult as you are oftern comparing apples with ornges with pears with bananas. After much research I changed to Red Energy (a Victorian based company). I do not work for Red Energy.

    • ive been with simply enemy coming from origin and bills decreased lots with no change in useage.

    • I'm with Red Energy after much research as well. I actually wouldn't mind having a look at their rates if he had provide me with some brochures showing their offer and why are their products better, rather then pushing me to switch to them immediately and being vague about their discount offer.

  • +5

    Yes, the door to door salesman was attempting to deceive you Eason.

    There are a few energy "wholesalers" (for example, United Energy) who provide energy to specific areas and then there are many energy retailers (Simply Energy, Red Energy, Lumo, AGL etc) who buy from the "wholesalers" and sell to individual houses. There are also some companies who do both (eg: Energy Australia, potentially Alinta as well).

    Your contract for gas and electricity will be with your current retailer. He was trying to effectively sign you up to a new contract with the retailer he represents (Alinta Energy) which means you'd terminate the contract you're currently on. While the "wholesaler" ("energy provider" in his words) will remain the same, the retailer ("billing company" in his words) will change.

    You may potentially be up for early termination / exit fees with your current provider with no guarantee that Alinta Energy are actually offering better rates than what you receive.

    Remember, even if you sign up for a new contract, have a cooling off period in Victoria (up to 14 days) -

    • That's why I was hesitant to sign up because he wouldn't show me their rates and only told me about the "33% off" offer. He also told me they'll pay for any termination fee caused by leaving my energy provider so I don't have to worry about it.

      • you did exactly what you should have done - told him to go.
        He was being a crook.
        Really you should ring the state govt body and complain, you may save a lot of older people that just dont know how crook it is signing up.

  • +3

    The "percent off" is misleading in itself, because every retailer has different rates, and every supplier has different rates.

    For example, one company's 10% off price may actually be cheaper than another company's 30% off.

  • The only way to deal with uninvited offers by phone or the front door is to ignore them. I used to say to people at the front door that I don't deal with them on principle. If you wish then leave some literature or documents and I will look at them when I'm ready. On the phone, I tell them send me a letter and I'll consider what they are offering. If they don't want to do it then you've probably dodged a bullet.

    Get a security door at the front (with light coloured mesh*) and don't open it to strangers until you are OK with their purpose. On the phone, if you don't want to say NO to someone then just put the phone on the bench and walk away for 10 minutes. That stops them dialling back in a hurry.

    • Light coloured mesh makes it difficult for people outside to look through in daylight.
    • +1

      Answer the door naked

    • -1

      Light coloured mesh makes it difficult for people outside to look through in daylight.

      but make your house look ugly.

  • hi has anybody had any experience with energy australia

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