As part of a notice to levy an administrative penalty against Just Energy Ontario L.P., the Ontario Energy Board said that independent associates selling energy under a network marketing model must comply with all regulations applicable to traditional sales agents.
The Board intends to make an order requiring Just Energy Ontario L.P. to pay an administrative penalty in the amount of $50,000 (Canadian) for alleged breaches of enforceable provisions of the consumer protection regulations. Just Energy may request a hearing on the allegations.
Most notably, the Board said that during a compliance review, Just Energy confirmed that it does not consider Momentis network marketing representatives to be salespersons, and that Momentis representatives are not given ID badges and business cards.
The Board said that, "Momentis representatives are acting as 'salespersons' as defined in section 2 of the ECPA [Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010] in that they are acting as persons who are engaged in an activity, the purpose of which is effecting sales of gas or electricity with consumers on behalf of a gas marketer or electricity retailer."
As such, the Board alleged that Momentis representatives failing to wear ID badges when calling on a consumer in person is contrary to section 6 of Ontario Regulation 90/99 and section 5(6)(i) and (ii) of Ontario Regulation 389/10.
Other alleged violations cited by the Board include:
- Just Energy's standard form Identification Badge issued to salespersons who meet in person with low-volume consumers fails to state that the salesperson is (a) not associated with any electricity or gas distributor or government contrary to section 6 of Ontario Regulation 90/99; and (b) not a representative of the consumer's electricity or gas distributor and is not associated with the Ontario Energy Board or the Government of Ontario; contrary to section 2.4(a) of the Codes
- In one of the 15 positive electricity renewal calls reviewed, the Just Energy representative confirmed the name of the consumer, but did not confirm if he/she was speaking to the account holder or the account holder's agent contrary to section 15(4)(c) of Ontario Regulation 389/10, section 18 of the ECPA and sections 4.13 and 4.14(a) of the Electricity Retailer Code of Conduct.
- In each of the renewal transactions reviewed for both electricity and gas, the renewal form does not contain the telephone number of the Board's Consumer Relations Centre; contrary to section 7.1 of the Codes
See Related Stories Today on Ontario Energy Board Compliance Action: