Sunday, 28 August 2011

Energy Watch accused of deceptive conduct

The competition and consumer watchdog has launched legal action against price comparison service Energy Watch and its founder Ben Polis for "deceptive conduct".
Energy Watch assesses a household's energy costs and consumption and advises customers on whether they can get a better deal elsewhere.

The Australia Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) alleges the company passed on false or misleading information in comparing energy rates and the money saved by using the service.
The company allegedly broadcast the information through a range of media, including on scoreboards during AFL matches.
Energy Watch founder Ben Polis says he will vigorously defend the allegations.
He says Energy Watch promotes competition, and he is concerned the ACCC does not understand how the business operates.
"We've also been investigated recently by other energy bodies and those sorts of things who have got no issue with the way our business works," he said.
"And I think the ACCC at this stage needs to have more of a clarification how our business works. They've made quite a few assumptions that are not true.
"One of the things that I find quite ironic is that Energy Watch has been built to create competition between energy retailers and obviously the ACCC is there to promote competition."
Mr Polis says Energy Watch has saved consumers over $50 million since its inception and the company has driven down electricity prices.
The matter has been filed in the Federal Court in Melbourne.



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