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Victorian Energy Ombudsman finds massive rise in aggressive sales tactics

The Victorian Energy Ombudsman says some Victorians are being hounded by up to four calls an hour by telemarketers, with a massive increase in the number of people who say they’ve been tricked into changing retailers.

The Ombudsman found there’s been an 88 per cent rise in cases in the last financial year where people say they were tricked by dodgy tactics from retailers.

It follows a damning report from the ACCC last month which called for an overhaul into the energy sector.

Victoria’s Energy and Water Ombudsman Cynthia Gebert told Neil Mitchell there is still behaviour which doesn’t reflect well on building trust in the industry.

“We’re getting all sorts of conduct which we don’t think reflects particularly well on entering into informed and clear contracts,” Ms Gebert said.

“People being door-knocked and lots of telemarketing, people being persistently called, sometimes when they’re already on the’ do not call’ list.”

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“Quite often if you’re entering a competition in a magazine or something that fine print will say you’re happy for your details to be shared with other marketing companies which is where people can come unstuck,” she said.

“What we have seen is things like people asking to have information sent to them and what they’ve actually done is, suddenly they get a welcome pack from the company, so you’re asking for information but have been tricked into being signed up.”