As an Independent Business Owner in the Essential Services world, it’s important be aware that you are operating in a highly regulated industry.
Just recently, the industry has been under the microscope and as a result, there is more pressure on ACN and yourselves, as a partner of Click Energy, to operate in an ethical and compliant manner.
Some of the changes that have been recommended out of this investigation are that energy retailers need to be more responsible for ensuring that the customer aware that they are knowingly entering into a contract.
This is being monitored in a few different ways:
- Reviewing of applications submitting from the same IP address
- Contact details not matching that of the customer
As you know, slamming is any practice that causes a customer’s telecommunications or energy service provider to be changed without their knowledge or consent. The practice is absolutely forbidden, and any IBO found to have engaged in this unethical practice is subsequently terminated. ACN takes a zero-tolerance approach to this type of misconduct.
As IBOs, it’s imperative you ensure that the customer themselves must provide their Explicit Informed Consent for the transfer of their energy service to Click Energy.
As a reminder, it’s not good enough for an IBO to obtain a customer’s verbal authority to place the customer’s order. The customer themselves must complete their own energy application. This is a regulatory requirement and is not negotiable.
ACN will terminate any IBO found to be signing up customers who may well be aware that their IBO has placed an energy order with Click Energy in their name because again, the customer didn’t apply themselves. In any circumstance where a customer has not given their own explicit informed consent to Click Energy, the offending IBO will be terminated.
Click Energy and ACN are also dealing with a number of energy complaints that relate to IBOs entering their own email and phone contact details on customer’s energy applications. This is another breach of compliance and any IBO found to be doing this, will also be terminated.
Energy slamming, Energy EIC and Energy Ombudsman cases significantly increase the risk and the likelihood of further regulatory and possible legal action being taken by Energy and consumer protection regulators against ACN, Click Energy, and against the offending IBO. It threatens our partnership with Click Energy and the ACN opportunity altogether. So please ensure you are acting ethically and train your teams accordingly.