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Power company accuses Genesis of misleading sales pitches

high voltage powerlines
Small electricity retailer Flick has called out large rival Genesis for its alleged sales tactics. Photo: 123RF

Sparks are flying over allegations of shabby sales tactics by one of the country's biggest power suppliers.

Boutique company Flick has called out electricity giant Genesis on social media, accusing the company of misleading prospective customers about the prices its competition charges.

The company posted on social media about the claims, saying "it's straight up wrong and unfair".

Flick claimed it reached out to Genesis privately but the message did not get through.

Flick chief executive Pavan Vyas told Checkpoint the company had heard from prospective customers claims such as that Flick raised its prices every month.

"We had a number of customers reach out to us.

"They've been told by Genesis sales people, either door to door salespeople or outbound call centre salespeople, that we raise our prices every month and we're not very transparent with our pricing."

Flick, which began in the electricity market in 2014, has "30,000 really engaged Kiwi customers".

Vyas said initial attempts to reach Genesis "fell on deaf ears."

"We let our customers know on social media that what they're potentially hearing is false and please engage us in a conversation if this was the case."

Flick Electric Facebook post
Photo: Supplied / Facebook

Vyas said "a number" of customers reached out to Flick with concerns, "and as you know in these situations only a handful of customers out of the total pool might call us".

"We don't have a practice of raising our prices every month."

In a statement Genesis said, "the behaviour outlined in the Flick post is below the professional standards of our customer service teams and not how we operate.

"We're looking into this and have been in touch directly with the Flick team to get more information."

Vyas said since the social media post "to their credit our compliance people have been speaking to their compliance people".

He felt it was important to promote good behaviours by companies.

"I don't think it's just harm to a company - we're about actually promoting the right behaviours in the industry and calling out practices that might not be great. For us it's about standing deliberately on the side of our customers.

"We actually encourage people to shop around and get the right deal for them, and if it happens to be Flick, we'll welcome you with open arms."