Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Mercury Energy fined $14,000 for misleading advert


Mercury Energy fined $14,000 for misleading advertising

Poor processes and not learning from its mistakes cost Mighty River Power, trading as Mercury Energy, $14,000 in the Auckland District Court yesterday. The company pleaded guilty to two charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act.

The Commerce Commission launched an investigation into Mercury Energy following a customer complaint regarding a television promotion, aired in the Auckland region in two blocks between October 2001 and February 2002, which promised to read consumers’ electricity meters monthly.

The Commission’s investigation established that of Mercury Energy’s two supply areas, Vector and United Networks Waitemata, only Vector customers had their meters read monthly at the time of the advertising. Following the unsuccessful implementation of monthly reading in the Waitemata area after the first block of advertising had aired, Mercury Energy took no action to alter or remove the second block of advertising.

In handing down the sentence, Judge Toomey commented that by the time the second block of ads was aired, Mercury Energy was aware that monthly meter reads were not in place and may have been some time away. “Action should have been taken to prevent them going to air,” he said.

Chair John Belgrave said that the Commission has a role in making sure that competition is fair in the electricity industry and that consumers are not misled.

“Since the deregulation of the electricity industry, retail companies have been operating in a far more competitive environment and are still trying to differentiate themselves to improve their market share,” he added.

“It is important that companies do not attempt to induce customers to switch based on promises they are unable to meet at the time.”

Background Mighty River Power Limited owns two electricity retailers, Mercury Energy and First Electric. In the Auckland region, Mercury Energy is divided into two power supply areas. Mercury Energy’s Vector area covers the Auckland CBD, west to New Lynn, south to Papakura and all areas east of the CBD. Mercury Energy’s United Networks’ Waitemata area covers all areas north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge to Warkworth, west of New Lynn to the Waitakere’s, including Titirangi and Henderson. The Vector area has 220,000 customers and United Networks Waitemata has 11,000.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Auckland Transport: Successful Bridge Repair Opens Two Additional Lanes To Traffic

The opening of two additional lanes on the Auckland Harbour Bridge this morning will help relieve some motorway congestion for motorists heading home to the North Shore tonight. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics New Zealand: COVID-19 Sees Record 12.2 Percent Fall In New Zealand’s Economy

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 12.2 percent in the June 2020 quarter, the largest quarterly fall recorded since the current series began in 1987, as the COVID-19 restrictions in place through the quarter impacted economic activity, Stats NZ said ... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Scientists Release ‘Blueprint’ To Save Critical Ecosystems And Stabilize The Earth’s Climate

A group of scientists and experts produced the first comprehensive global-scale analysis of terrestrial areas essential for biodiversity and climate resilience, totaling 50.4% of the Earth's land. The report was published in Science Advances ... More>>

ALSO:

MPI: Independent Review Launched Into Assurances For Safe Transport Of Livestock By Sea

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has launched an independent review of the assurances it receives for the safe transport of livestock by sea. MPI Director-General Ray Smith says Mike Heron QC has been appointed to lead the review, which is expected ... More>>

ALSO:


Computers: New Zealand PC Market Grows Nearly 40% Due To Work From Home Demand

COVID-19 had large impacts on demand for PCs as businesses prepared for lockdowns by purchasing notebooks to mobilise their workforce. In the second quarter of 2020, New Zealand's Traditional PC market experienced a 39.7% year-on-year (YoY) growth ... More>>

ALSO:


University Of Auckland: Whale-Watching By Satellite – Follow Their Travels Online

Scientists have successfully attached satellite tracking tags to six New Zealand southern right whales, or tohorā, and are inviting the public to follow the whales’ travels online. Part of a major research project involving the University of Auckland ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Kiwibank Admits System Failures And Agrees To Pay Customers $5.2 Million

Kiwibank has entered into a settlement agreement with the Commerce Commission after reporting that it failed to have in place robust home loan variation disclosure policies, procedures and systems. In a settlement dated 27 August 2020, Kiwibank admitted that ... More>>

Ministry of Health: Public Transport Distancing Requirements Relaxed

Physical distancing requirements on public transport have been reviewed by the Ministry of Health to determine whether they are still required at Alert Level 2 (or below). The Ministry’s assessment is that mandatory face covering and individuals tracking ... More>>

ALSO:

NZHIA: New Zealand Hemp Industry Set To Generate $2 Billion Per Annum And Create 20,000 Jobs

A new report says a fully enabled hemp industry could generate $2 billion in income for New Zealand by 2030, while also creating thousands of new jobs. Written by industry strategist Dr Nick Marsh, the report has prompted calls from the New Zealand Hemp ... More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: One In 14 Employed People Report High Risk Of Losing Jobs

About one in 14 workers say they expect to lose their job or business by mid-2021, Stats NZ said today. A survey of employed people in the June 2020 quarter showed 7 percent felt there was a high or almost certain chance of losing their job or business ... More>>

ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast: NZ Economy Doing Better Than Expected, But Challenges Remain

August lockdown estimated to have shaved 8% off NZ’s weekly GDP, and 0.5% off annual GDP Economy now expected to shrink 5% (year-on-year) by end of 2020 Unemployment rate now expected to peak at 7.2% The latest ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast is less ... More>>

ALSO: