Victoria’s energy watchdog has reported an 88 per cent increase in complaints about telemarketers using underhanded sales tactics over the last financial year.
With callers using aggressive tactics to prompt homeowners to change companies, Victorians are being pursued by energy companies to switch to a new retailer.
Some people receive up to four calls an hour.
Victorian Energy and Water Ombudsman Cynthia Gebert said that some of those tactics are verging on harassment.
“People say they aren’t interested, but they get called again and again over a relatively short period of time, conduct that you wouldn’t expect of energy retailers,” Gerbert said.
“People being door-knocked and lots of telemarketing, people being persistently called, sometimes when they’re already on the ‘do not call’ list.”
The government-run Do Not Call Register is a free-to-join database where individuals and organisations can list their phone numbers to avoid unsolicited telemarketing calls.
Gerbert said that many people don’t realise that signing up for services online might take you off the Do Not Call Register.
“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.”