5 Mar 2020

Contact Energy fined $245k over fuel discount promotion

10:45 am on 5 March 2020

Misleading advertising over petrol discounts has cost Contact Energy a quarter of a million dollars.

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File photo. Photo: 123rf

It claimed new customers would get 10 to 30 cents off fuel every month, calling it "no tricks, no surprises, no brainer". But the power company didn't say that discount could only be redeemed once a month to a maximum of 50 litres.

The power company has been convicted in Wellington District Court after pleading guilty to seven charges under the Fair Trading Act.

The charges were brought by the Commerce Commission. Chair Anna Rawlings told Morning Report it came to the Commission's attention after complaints from customers who felt confused by the campaign.

"It's a standard term of the AA Smart Fuel, but it wasn't disclosed clearly in this advertising."

She said consumers needed to go on a hunt for the terms and conditions through the AA Smartfuel website.

"That's just too much work for consumers to have to do to qualify a headline offer that's been made, like in this case."

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