In handling your personal information, Blue NRG Pty Ltd ABN 30 151 014 658 (‘Blue NRG’, ‘us’, ‘we’, ‘our’) is committed to complying with the Privacy Act 1988 (‘Privacy Act’) and the Australian Privacy Principles. We are also bound by Division 3 of Part IIIA of the Privacy Act, which regulates the handling of credit information by credit providers. As an electricity retailer, we provide services to you before you are required to pay us for those services. Therefore, we are classified as a credit provider for the purposes of the Privacy Act.
- What constitutes personal information;
- Why and how we collect, use and disclose personal information;
- How we manage credit related information;
- How we store personal information;
- How you can access your personal information, and correct personal information if you believe it to be incorrect;
- How to make a complaint if you have a concern regarding our handling of your personal information; and
- How to contact us.
All personal information is managed to ensure our compliance with the Privacy Act and Australian Privacy Principles.
WHAT IS ‘PERSONAL INFORMATION’?
“Personal information”, as defined under the Privacy Act, means information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable whether the information or opinion is true or not; and whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.
Generally, information that is only about a business is not considered to be ‘personal information’. This is because the Privacy Act defines an ‘individual’ as a ‘natural person’, and the ordinary meaning of a ‘natural person’ does not include a body politic or corporate entity (including a company).
However, an individual’s personal information may be so interconnected to information about his or her business or company that information about that business or company can constitute personal information about the individual. For instance, where the business is owned and managed by a sole trader, the distinction between business information and personal information might sometimes overlap.
In practice, where information provided in a business capacity is also personal information, the Australian Privacy Principles will apply.
For consistency and transparency, Blue NRG treats all personal and business information it collects, uses and discloses in the same manner.
WHY WE COLLECT, HOLD, USE AND DISCLOSE PERSONAL INFORMATION
We need to collect, use and disclose your personal information so that we can perform our functions and duties as your electricity retailer. The information that we request from you (or in some cases, access from third parties) allows us to identify you and communicate with you, and to manage your energy account with us. This may include circumstances such as:
- Providing our products and services to you, or to provide you with a quote or offer for our products and services, including to follow up if we do not hear from you;
- Contacting you about your account, including issuing bills and seeking payment;
- If you want to set up a direct debit facility to pay your bills;
- Responding to any complaint you make to us;
- Answering enquiries and providing any information or documents you ask for;
- For administrative reasons (i.e. compliance reviews, planning, quality control and research);
- Updating our records to ensure your contact details are up to date;
- Using information, we are permitted by law to establish or report on your creditworthiness; and
- Marketing purposes where we have your express or inferred consent to contact you using one or more types of personal information that we hold about you or where we are permitted by law to contact you.
WHAT PERSONAL INFORMATION DO WE COLLECT AND HOLD?
As a customer or prospective customer, we aim to only collect and hold information that is necessary to provide you with any service you have requested, being the sale and supply of electricity or related services. Some common examples of information we collect include:
- Contact information, including your name, business name, phone number, previous and current address, postal address, email address or fax number,
- Identifying information, including your name, date of birth, driver’s licence number, copies of your driver’s licence, (or copies of other identification), Australian Business Number (ABN) and Australian Company Number (ACN),
- Information about your electricity account, including your supply address(es), meter number, national meter identifier (NMI), billing information and usage history, and concession or rebate entitlements,
- Financial information, including your direct debit and bank account details, credit card details, credit history, payment history, payment plan information (where relevant).
From time to time, we may also collect sensitive personal information, for example, health information if you are a customer who requires electricity powered life support equipment. If we collect and hold sensitive information about you, we will only do so with your consent and where collection is required by law.
HOW WE COLLECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
Generally, we collect personal information directly from you, our customer, unless it is unreasonable or impracticable to do so. We also collect personal information via third parties, including:
- Our agents or third parties with whom we have business relationships;
- Third party brokers and sales agents who have contacted you about our products and services or have identified you as someone who may wish to receive offers about our products and services;
- Your agent or representative, where you have authorised them to act on your behalf in providing us with your personal information;
- Other energy retailers, for example, if you switch to us from another authorised retailer;
- Electricity distribution network businesses to access information about your energy supply;
- Energy ombudsman schemes;
- Through our website and social media accounts on Facebook and LinkedIn;
- Credit reporting agencies (see credit related information below);
- Additional account holders on your account; and
- Publicly available sources of information, such as telephone directories.
When we collect information from you, we may do so over the phone, in writing, in person, online (for example, through our website, or via email).
Some information that we collect from you is then used to formulate internal information about you, for example, billing history, payment information and account information. This information is collected by us and stored in Blue NRG’s internal systems.
HOW WE USE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
We will use personal information only for the purpose it was collected, and/or for one of the reasons stipulated below.
We use your personal information to:
- Understand your energy needs and provide you with the right electricity product for you;
- Set up an electricity account for you, and manage that account over time;
- Assess your creditworthiness;
- Provide you with flexible payment options and other payment assistance where necessary;
- Contact you about your electricity account, and news, events and other services and products we offer;
- Improve our products and services from feedback provided by you via mail, phone, email or our social media accounts;
- Comply with legal and regulatory obligations to various government bodies;
- Conduct internal research and analysis;
- Manage complaints and disputes raised by you; and
- Keep you informed of any new products, services or offers through promotional marketing.
DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
From time to time, we may also disclose your personal information. We will only disclose your personal information for a purpose that is:
- A circumstance you would reasonably expect and have consented to; or
- As required by or permitted by law.
We may disclose your personal information to third parties in the conduct of our business and for the purpose of their work. Third parties may include:
- Additional account holders or your authorised representative;
- Other energy retailers (if you decide to move to another retailer);
- Companies that manage the distribution of your energy;
- Financial institutions (for payment processing);
- The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) which manages energy supply, demand and capacity in accordance with applicable regulation;
- Government and regulatory authorities where required or authorised by law;
- Credit reporting bodies;
- Any companies related to us;
- External advisors such as lawyers, accountants and auditors; and
- Our service providers such as information technology suppliers, external sales partners and energy comparison services, mailing and logistics providers, meter reading and maintenance contractors, metering coordinator, data analysts, debt collection agencies, and marketing and advertising agencies and contractors.
Where we provide your personal information on a confidential basis to third parties engaged by us to assist our business in its core function of delivering energy products and services, we ensure that these parties are bound by commercial confidentiality arrangements which safeguard against the improper use of personal information.
CREDIT RELATED INFORMATION
As an electricity retailer, we provide services to you before you are required to pay us for those services. Therefore, we are a credit provider for the purposes of the Privacy Act.
We may collect credit related personal information when you apply for and open an account with us. This includes information we seek from you, but may also include credit related information from third parties such as credit reporting bodies, credit agencies and debt collection agencies.
As a result, we may hold or collect credit related information about you, which includes:
- Your name and contact details;
- Your credit history, including repayments and late repayments on outstanding amounts;
- Your credit rating; and
- Information about insolvency, bankruptcy or other credit related court proceedings.
Credit related information may be used to:
- Assess applications for credit;
- Assess applications for payment plans and other forms of payment assistance;
- Collect payments that you owe us;
- Consider whether to provide credit to you;
- Respond to any access or correction requests that you make to us, a credit reporting provider or another credit provider;
- Respond to any complaint that you make, whether to us, a regulator or any provider of a recognised external dispute resolution scheme;
- Comply with the law or an order of a court or tribunal;
- Assess whether additional payments, for example, security deposits, may be required; or
- Assign our debt collection activities to an external company.
We may also collect credit related information from, and disclose credit related information to, credit reporting bodies and other entities that provide credit directly to you. These third parties may provide us with personal information they have collected from you in the course of providing relevant products or services.
Credit reporting bodies collect a range of credit-related information about individuals to provide a credit related service to their customers. They may include your information in reports provided to other credit providers to help them assess your credit worthiness. The credit reporting bodies that we may disclose your information to are:
- Dun & Bradstreet (Australia) Pty Ltd (contact details available at www.checkyourcredit.com.au/ContactUs); and
- Equifax Pty Ltd (contact details are available at www.mycreditfile.com.au/support).
We may disclose your credit-related information to:
- Credit reporting bodies that collect credit-related information about individuals and use that information to provide a credit related service to their customers;
- Other energy providers that provide, or are considering providing, credit to you;
- A third party that you or we ask to act as guarantor of any credit provided to you;
- Third parties to whom we assign your debt.
We generally do not disclose credit related information outside of Blue NRG, except where:
- Such a disclosure is required by law or court order;
- You have consented to the disclosure of such information; or
- We are providing information to credit reporting bodies or agencies, or debt collection bodies or agencies if do not pay for the products and services that we provide to you; commit fraud or try to; or commit a serious credit infringement.
We do not currently hold credit-related information overseas. If your credit-related information is held overseas in the future, we will update this collection statement.
If your application for an electricity account is refused by us based on credit information provided to us by a credit reporting body, we will inform you of this and provide you with the name and contact details of that body (together with any other information required to be provided to you).
HOW WE HOLD AND KEEP YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION SECURE
We will take all reasonable steps to protect personal information held within Blue NRG. We store information in different ways, including in hardcopy and electronic form. Personal information is stored within Blue NRG:
- In our computer systems and networks;
- In our customer management platform;
- In hard copy (for example, if you sign a paper contract with us); and
- In voice recordings (for example, if you agree to a contract with us over the phone).
We take all reasonable steps to ensure that all your personal information (including credit-related information), held by us is protected from misuse, interference and loss, and unauthorised access, disclosure or modification.
Our safeguards include:
- Technical solutions, security controls and internal processes that only allow access to information where an employee or other individual has the authority to access it;
- Confidentiality requirements for employees and contractors;
- IT security policies and robust systems;
- Firewalls and data encryption on our websites;
- Implementing access control to our office; and
- Training our employees about our privacy obligations.
At all times, personal information held by us is only accessible by Blue NRG authorised staff, and in some cases, third party contractors engaged by Blue NRG. We will take reasonable steps to preserve the security of your personal, credit-related personal information and other information or data collected by us. Where information is no longer needed for required purposes we take reasonable steps to destroy or de-identify that information.
Where possible, we will allow you to interact with us anonymously or using a pseudonym. For example, if you contact our Customer Service line with a general question we will not ask for your name unless we need it to adequately handle your question.
However, for most of our functions and activities we usually need your name and contact information and enough information about the particular matter to enable us to fairly and efficiently handle your inquiry.
We generally only collect your personal information on our website where you provide it knowingly and voluntarily (for example, by entering your details in our online facilities or emailing an inquiry). We may also collect other information about your use of the website that cannot be used to identify you. Anytime you access an unsecured part of our website, that is, a public page that does not require you to log on, we may collect information about your visit, such as:
- The time and date of the visit;
- Any information or documentation that you download;
- Your browser type; and
- Internet protocol details of the device used to access the site.
ACCESSING AND CORRECTING YOUR INFORMATION
Under the Privacy Act, you have the right to request access to personal information, including credit related information, we hold about you. You can do so by contacting us using the contact details below. We will respond to your request for access within a reasonable time. If we refuse to give you access to any of your personal information, we will provide you with reasons for the refusal and the relevant provisions of the Privacy Act that we rely on to refuse access. You can contact our Privacy Officer if you would like to challenge our decision to refuse access.
We may charge a fee to cover our costs of providing access, however we will not charge you a fee for making the request for access or for making any changes to your personal or credit related information.
Alternatively, if you are a customer of ours and registered to our “My Account” online portal, you can at any time, review some of the personal information we hold about you.
We strive to ensure that your personal information is accurate, up-to-date and complete, particularly where we disclose personal information. If you have concerns that the information that we hold about you is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading, please contact us immediately so that we can correct the personal information.
By signing up with us or where you provide us with your details on this website, you agree that we (or any of our Australian related companies, service providers or other business partners) may contact you by any means (including by SMS or e-mail) in the future (even if you cease being a customer of or otherwise cease acquiring services from us) to let you know about goods, services, promotions, competitions or special offers which may be of interest to you. We may also provide your details to other third party organisations for specific marketing purposes.
You may opt out at any time if you no longer wish to receive marketing information or do not wish to receive marketing information through a particular channel, like email. In order to do so, you will need to request that we no longer send marketing materials to you or disclose your information to other organisations for marketing purposes. You can make this request by contacting us using the contact details below. Our electronic marketing messages include an ‘unsubscribe’ option allowing you to opt out of receiving further direct marketing.
COMPLAINTS AND QUERIES
If you believe that your privacy has been breached or you have a complaint about our handling of your personal or credit related information, please contact us using the details below. Once a complaint has been lodged, our Privacy Officer will investigate your complaint. Where necessary, we may consult with third parties about your complaint. We will attempt to resolve your complaint within 10 business days and will notify you in writing of our decision at this time. Where this is not possible, we will contact you to let you know when the complaint is expected to be resolved.
If you are not satisfied with our response or our proposed resolution of your complaint, then you may lodge a formal complaint with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (for more information, please see www.oaic.gov.au), or with the relevant Energy and Water Ombudsman in your state or territory.
Ombudsman Contact Details:
Energy and Water Ombudsman (SA)
Mail: GPO Box 2947, Adelaide, South Australia, 5001
Freecall: 1800 665 565
Telephone Interpreter Service: 131 450
TTY (for hearing impaired customers): 133 677
PHONE: 1300 599 888 (Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:30pm AEST/AEDT)
EMAIL: [email protected] (Attn: Privacy Officer)
MAIL: PO Box 24390, Melbourne, VIC 3001