Tru energy door knockers telling lies
Even though we have a sticker on the gate (maybe it's come off) to say no to door knockers, two young men of Indian descent came knocking late yesterday afternoon. 'Your bill number is different to your new box number,' one lied to me. How would he know that - the rabbit and guinea pig live in the enclosed verandah and the two men couldn't get in there! 'Show us your last bill,' demanded one of them. I was suspicious for a start and asked to see their ID. It did say Tru Energy but I didn't have time to write down names and ID numbers. I said, 'I'll ring up myself then.' Then the two skidaddled very quickly out the front garden. Seems like they are doing the rounds of our suburb, but how many gullible people would actually believe they are from our electricity supplier and show them a bill and the details would then be used to change the provider? I rang up Smartbox or whatever it's called, got Comsumer Affairs and told them.
It happened in other towns too - e.g. in Griffith. And then an apology came from Truenergy in one of the papers. Hmmm. Not good enough.
Earlier in the week, The Area News was contacted by a number of residents who claimed salespeople from TRUenergy were using underhand tactics and even downright lies to get them to switch energy providers.
TRUenergy initially denied having any doorknockers in the area but, following Wednesday's front page article, the company has since retracted its statement and apologised to the community.
"We did have doorknockers in the Griffith area between May 30 and June 4. The original statement referred to TRUenergy not having doorknockers in Griffith at the time the newspaper called us," a spokesperson said. "We would like to apologise for any anxiety or distress caused by the experience."
The spokesperson said TRUenergy contracted out the doorknocking jobs and the company in charge of the Griffith salespeople had been notified about their behaviour.
"We do not condone any misleading conduct and we have asked the company to investigate and take steps to address the issue," the spokesperson said. "We expect them to take firm steps including, where necessary, suspension or dismissal."
While such discipline is usually handled by the electricity company involved, the office of the minister of resources and energy is now also looking into the violation. "The government has already raised this issue both with IPART and TRUenergy," a spokesperson for the minister's office said. "The NSW government requires energy retailers to stick to strict marketing rules under its energy marketing code."
The TRUenergy spokesperson gave assurances no doorknocker would return to Griffith until the company was confident the employees understood the code of conduct.