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Ombudsman’s concern over “pretty aggressive” telemarketers

3AW Mornings

Victoria Energy and Water Ombudsman Cynthia Gebert has detailed the telemarketing tricks that fall “well below the standard” of what consumers expect.

The head body recently releaed their annual report, with 32,483 complains being made in the last year.

Ms Gebert said she was concerned at the tactics being deployed by telemarketers.

“Increasingly we are seeing some pretty aggressive telephone sales approaches that aren’t really reflecting what we expect,” she said.

“(Telemarketers) aren’t listening to customers who may be saying they’re not interested and otherwise vulnerable and shouldn’t be pursued further.”

Gas and electricity complaints have increased in the past 12 months, while water complaints have decreased. Ms Gebert said the threat of disconnection drove people to call and complain.

“There’s issues with actual disconnection, threatened disconnection and we’re not seeing that in the water businesses,” she told Neil Mitchell.

“Customers are contacting water businesses and seemingly getting their complaints resolved much quicker.

“Primarily, (gas and electricity complaints) are up because customers are struggling to make end’s meet and that goes back to the energy affordability issue that we’ve been talking about.”

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3AW Mornings