Genesis pays $ 15,000 to settle violation of ‘winback’ rule protecting competition
Genesis sought to “save” its customers until, and accidentally a day after, the date the new rule took effect.
Genesis Energy will pay a total of $ 15,000 to 12 other electricity retailers after violating a customer “save and win back” ban that was put in place to protect retail competition.
Last year, the company admitted to accidentally breaking a new rule preventing electricity retailers from trying to save defecting customers to competing retailers, after getting it wrong the day the new rule went into effect. .
The rule was a key recommendation of the government’s electricity price review, which was primarily aimed at improving retail competition in the industry.
The Electricity Authority confirmed that Genesis approached around 224 customers on March 31 of last year and persuaded 25 of them to cancel their plans to quit Genesis, believing the new rule had not come into effect. effective only a day later.
* Genesis to reimburse $ 1.1 million to professional customers after billing errors
* Genesis Energy admits hundreds of ‘winback’ ban violations
* Mercury offered the customer a credit of $ 320 to reverse the change on March 31
The authority said there was no “quantifiable impact on the market”, but that consumer protection and the promotion and benefits of competition for consumers were “at the forefront” of its work. .
“Saving and winning back inhibits retail competition, resulting in higher prices paid by consumers than they would in a more competitive market,” he said.
The government said the review of electricity prices would benefit consumers, but a year later doubts remain that all utilities have adopted the spirit of its recommendations.
Genesis had agreed to pay 12 rival retailers $ 600 for each of the 25 customers it managed to save, by way of settlement, the authority said.
The authority separately announced that it had stopped taking steps to encourage customers of Auckland-based utility company ID Power to switch to other suppliers after ID Power resolved an issue with the authority. by coming out of default on the wholesale market.