Plan to stop Winbacks

Plan to stop Winbacks

The Electricity Authority is consulting on a proposal to ban retailer initiated saves and win-backs for 180 days after a customer switches retailers.

“We have a competitive electricity industry, but this will do more to encourage innovation and increase competitive pressure. This proposal puts the pressure on retailers to fight for their customers and offer them something new and different,” says James Stevenson-Wallace, Chief Executive at the Authority.

The concern is the current retailer does not offer the best rates or discounts to the customer until they start the process of switching to another retailer. They wait until they threaten to leave before they offer better rates to save or winback the customer.

The hope is by banning the retailer from trying to save the customer for a period of 180 days, the retailer would be more inclined to offer the better rates for the customer up front before they start to switch away.

The proposal does not place any restrictions on consumers wanting to shop around, they are still free to change suppliers to suit their needs. The ban on win-backs would not stop customers from returning to their original supplier of their own accord, but would prevent their original retailer from targeting marketing directly towards them.

The Government also supported the Electricity Price Review’s recommendation to impose a ban or moratorium on win backs followed by a full evaluation of the impacts on consumers.

The Authority is keen to hear from all interested parties and encourages submissions. The Saves and Win-backs Code Amendment: Consultation Paper 2019 is on the Authority’s website.

Submissions close at 5pm on Tuesday 3 December. The Authority’s Board will deliver its final decision by early 2020.

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