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Electricity firm charged over misleading promotion

03 April 2019

Contact Energy Ltd is facing seven charges under the Fair Trading Act for allegedly misleading customers in an advertising promotion which offered fuel discounts with AA Smartfuel alongside electricity plans, following a Commerce Commission investigation. 

The advertising campaign involved a number of advertising platforms, including e-mails, TV, radio, newspaper, bus, digital billboard and online advertisements. It ran from 4 April 2017 when Contact joined the AA Smartfuel rewards scheme as a participating retailer to 1 July 2017. The campaign offered fuel discounts “every month” to new and existing customers who signed up or stayed on certain Contact electricity plans.

The Commission alleges Contact Energy made false or misleading representations about the offers, by failing to adequately disclose key information in the advertising, including that the discount was only accessible once per month, and rewards could only be redeemed on one fill, and up to a maximum of 50 litres of fuel. 

The case will be called in the Wellington District Court on Monday 29 April.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019