Alinta Energy stung for privacy flaws and dubious practices

Alinta Energy in trouble for poor privacy protection

Energy giant, Alinta Energy may not be protecting customer data as required at the time of its sale to a Chinese company almost three years ago. The Age and Sydney Morning Herald and the ABC program 7.30 have exposed the “poor state of Alinta’s systems and the time taken to remediate (them).” Privacy and Energy Regulators are investigating.

Highly sensitive information

The information that Alinta Energy collect is very sensitive, including names, addresses, mobile numbers, Medicare and passport numbers, birth dates, credit card details and sometimes social security or health information. The Essential Services Commission also said it wanted answers after Nine Media “exposed gaping holes in the way Alinta protects the personal information of its 1.1 million customers.”

Customer practices of Alinta Energy criticised

According to Nine “In 2018, Alinta Energy paid a $300,000 fine for allegedly transferring customers from other providers without their consent.” ABC interviewed a farmer that Alinta attempted to bankrupt in December 2019 only to have the case overturned by the Federal Court with costs awarded against Alinta. They also interviewed a customer who was switched without her consent in June 2019. It took her 3-4 months to resolve after many calls and emails. Alinta admitted to 24 cases of fraudulent switching by third party agents since 2018.

Do Energy Umpire recommend Alinta Energy?

In recent times, Alinta Energy have only occasionally been the cheapest energy supplier for a few of our customers. About a year ago, Alinta Energy were more competitive for specific locations and usage patterns.

Our policy is to recommend the cheapest provider. If a customer seeks an alternative, then of course we provide it. We find that nearly all customers accept the cheapest priced provider. As it turns out, the cheapest energy providers are often smaller companies. These companies are often more focused on their customers than the major providers. When we see bad behaviour, we call it out. E.g. Powershop and Kogan Energy, Simply Energy and Globird and also AGL.

A few of our customers are using Alinta Energy. These customers are mainly getting historic prices which are not available anymore. If you are with Alinta and wish to change please let us know.

If you are dissatisfied with your provider please let us know by sending an email to contact@energyumpire.com.au.

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