ACCC v AGL South Australia Pty Ltd  FCA 1369
The Federal Court of Australia has found that AGL South Australia Pty Ltd (AGL) made false or misleading representations and engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct concerning the level of discount residential consumers would receive under AGL’s energy plans.
The Court held that consumers who commenced an energy plan with AGL between January and mid-July 2012 would have understood through telephone conversations with AGL Customer Service Representatives that they would receive a discount calculated by reference to the rates which would otherwise have applied to them if they had not entered into the energy plan. Although they initially received the discount, in mid-2012 AGL increased the rates under its energy plans and sent a letter to these consumers advising them of their new rates, stating that they would continue to receive their discount.
Justice White held that this was false and misleading as following the rate increase, these rates were actually higher than those AGL applied to similar consumers who had subsequently commenced an energy plan post-July 2012. As such, AGL’s conduct “reduced the benefits of the discounts represented to the consumers when they agreed on their energy plan”.
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