The information that Energy Online collects from you is held in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993 and in particular, the Privacy Principles contained in that Act. Energy Online may collect your personal information in a variety of ways when you request or use our products or services, including via consumer promotions, surveys, information or feedback you’ve provided to us (including live chats, posts on our blogs and social media sites), information gathered through cookies used in accordance with our internet access terms and conditions, emails, faxes, recordings of customer service interactions, credit control, sales and other telephone calls, or via any other communication we may have had with you. Note that we generally record both inbound and outbound calls for operational and training purposes.
Energy Online may use any personal information we collect for the following purposes:
- confirming your identity and the identity of others authorised on your account;
- administering your account (including billing you) and managing our relationship with you;
- supplying you with energy and any other products or services you have requested;
- carrying out credit checks and credit scoring, debt collection (including the sale of debt to third party collection agencies), and the provision of credit information to credit agencies (which may be provided by credit agencies to its customers);
- disclosing your positive credit information including monthly repayment history to credit reporters;
- improving our customer service, including monitoring, assessing and following up queries and complaints;
- improving our online services, including our website, mobile app and social media pages;
- developing or improving our products and/or services;
- informing you or contacting you regarding our products, brands, special offers, publications and other promotions we think you may be interested in (including by text message where we have obtained your mobile phone number);
- informing you or contacting you regarding products, services, brands, special offers, publications and other promotions of carefully selected third parties we think you may be interested in (unless you’ve asked us in writing not to);
- to help us with other reputable companies or organisations that offer services connected with any of the products or services we offer;
- assisting other energy retailers with their credit enquiries or for the purposes of switching your energy supply;
- commissioning a market research company to carry out a study on our behalf;
- carrying out our responsibilities, including complying with any requirements and any lawful requests in accordance with statute, or industry rules and regulations;
- enforcing our rights under our contracts with customers, or our arrangements with the customer’s network operator or metering company;
- enabling an organisation to pay a benefit to a customer (for example, a rebate to customers of a network operator); and
- carrying out our responsibilities under the Guideline on Arrangements to Assist Vulnerable Consumers and the Guideline on Arrangements to Assist Medically Dependent Consumers.
It is important that your information is up to date. Please tell us if any of your contact details or other information you’ve given us changes.
Security of your information
Energy Online takes all reasonable steps to ensure that all information we collect, use or disclose is accurate and stored in a secure environment accessed only by authorised persons for legitimate business purposes. We regularly train our staff on their responsibilities under the Privacy Act and the terms of this policy.
We may store and process your information using services provided by a third party provider, including cloud-based providers located in New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Singapore and Japan. When we send your information overseas, we take all reasonable steps to ensure that appropriate information handling and security arrangements are in place and/or contractual arrangements exist that place appropriate information handling and security obligations on the recipients or holders of the information. Please note that New Zealand law may not apply to some of these third party providers.
Energy Online shall not keep such information for longer than the purposes for which it may be lawfully used.
Disclosure of your information
Energy Online will not disclose, sell, distribute or share your personal information with third parties, except in accordance with the strict exceptions contained in the Privacy Act, or where authorisation has been given by you for that disclosure. In order to fulfil the purposes listed above, Energy Online may disclose your information to (but not limited to) the following:
- to a person who is a joint customer or authority on your account;
- agents, contractors or suppliers we may contract with who are responsible for carrying out on our behalf any of the purposes listed above including, but not limited to, any market research companies, research and insight agencies, mail houses and providers who host or maintain data centres, service platforms and other infrastructure and systems on our behalf;
- the Electricity Authority, the Commerce Commission, the Utilities Dispute Limited Scheme or any other industry regulator, industry body, complaints scheme, government or law enforcement agency;
- debt collection agencies and credit risk assessment agencies (credit reporters) who may share your information with other organisations, and who may keep a record of the searches we make against your name;
- our legal, financial and other professional service advisors;
- energy related companies that provide us with services including, but not limited to, any network company (and/or the trust or co-operative that owns the network operator), and any metering company relevant to your premises;
- our related companies, as that term is defined in the Companies Act 1993; and
- other energy retailers (including where you have switched to another energy retailer and consented to that energy retailer or an agent receiving a copy of your data for the period of time that you were supplied by Genesis Energy at the same property).
Additionally, if you have told us, or it appears to us, that you are reliant on electricity to prevent a clear threat to your health and wellbeing or you have mains powered critical medical equipment we may disclose your information to the following:
- Work and Income, District Health Boards and other social agencies; and
- Private health providers.
Where Energy Online discloses your personal information to third parties for the above purposes, this will be on a strictly confidential basis.
Access to your information
You may request an inspection, update or correction of the personal information Energy Online holds about you by putting the request in writing addressed to the Privacy Officer at:
Private Bag 3131
Waikato Mail centre
(09) 539 4633
How do you make a privacy complaint?
If you have a complaint about the privacy of the information we hold about you, please contact our Privacy Officer at the details listed above. We will try to resolve your complaint straight away. If it is complex, or involves other parties, we will investigate it for you. In any event, we will acknowledge your complaint in writing within two business days of receipt. If you are not satisfied with the way we’ve handled your complaint and your concerns are unresolved following completion of our internal process, you can refer your concern to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (see www.privacy.org.nz for further information about their complaints process).
Changes to this policy
Effective from 21 October 2016