On 28 November 2013, the Federal Court made consent orders that Australian Power & Gas Company Limited (APG) pay a penalty of $1.1 million and publish corrective notices in relation to breaches of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) (see here for our earlier report).
Specifically, the Federal Court declared that APG, through its sales representatives, had:
falsely represented that it had approval from, or was affiliated with:
- the consumer’s existing energy retailer or distributor; or
- the government,
- made false or misleading representations that the consumer could receive a certain discount off their energy bill;
- engaged in unconscionable conduct in selling to a consumer with limited English skills;
breached the requirements of the ACL in relation to unsolicited sales by failing to:
- advise consumers that their purpose was selling electricity or gas;
- advise consumers that they were obliged to leave the premises on request; and
- provide identity information.