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Genesis Energy, biggest utility by customers, to quit door-knocking

Genesis Energy [NZX: GNE], the biggest New Zealand power company by number of customers, says it will stop sending its sales force door-to-door after a survey showed the vast majority of kiwis don't like being bugged at home.

Genesis, the last of the state-owned power companies to be sold down, had about 655,580 customers as at March 31, including 530,718 electricity customers, or 27 percent of the market. The shares last traded at $1.845 on the NZX, giving investors in the initial public offering last months a 19 percent gain and valuing the company at $1.8 billion.

"Research commissioned by Genesis Energy showed that an overwhelming 81 percent of Kiwis don't like door to door salespeople coming to their home," Chris Watney, general manager marketing, said in a statement.

Genesis has been wearing out shoe leather, knocking on doors along with rivals such as Contact Energy, Todd Corp's Nova, and Meridian Energy to woo customers after the government took steps to encourage competition. That includes the website, a campaign run by the Electricity Authority which allows consumers to compare prices and switch companies.

Genesis Energy hired polling company Perceptive Research to survey 1,015 New Zealanders last month, the utility said today. The results showed more than 63 percent found the practice "both annoying and intrusive." The survey also showed that some kiwi households are being visited by more than 36 door-to-door sales people a year.


Comments and questions

Who wants to pay their absorbent prices for Electricity anyway.
Their sister company Energy Online along with Genesis are now both in the higher priced suppliers, I wrote to Energy Online and advised them of that fact, and that if they were to proceed with their price increases I would withdraw my custom, they didn't even bother to reply so I changes suppliers and saved $400 per year.
For mine that is piddle poor management, when they simply do not care if they retain you or not

Who did you change to ? I note my Energy Online daily connection rate goes up from 87c/day to $1.94/day next month.

Really? I switched my business to Energy Online and saved hundreds of dollars a year! I've looked around and still find they are cheaper than their competitors for commercial power. Same with home - they door knocked us and we are saving heaps. I looked to change but no one else even comes close to the Genesis rate we are on so I'm not sure how you can say they are in the high price bracket. Maybe I just got lucky.

About time. Answering my door I was offered $150 to switch to Genesis. When I said yes I'm with you now they said no it's not for current customers only new ones. So I'm pleased they stopped offering bribes to switch just like banks offering 3% credit card interest to new customers but not existing ones.

No wonder some people keep changing Power coys & Banks to get these rewards. What price loyalty these days?

I've recently changed from Genesis to Contact after emailing 5 suppliers to ask if they would offer a 2 year contract and at what prices. Contact was the only supplier that offered a contract, the others just offered what I considered ridiculous pricing.

I asked Genesis if they would match Contact's price but they declined so I switched. So much for competition, they are obviously far to comfortable in their current market position.

I was with Genesis for a little over 18 months and had 3 price increases in that time. No more price increases til July 2016 now. I'm not holding my breath of the changes Labour and the Greens are proposing, if they do get in, it will probably be 'too hard".

Now lets hope all other companies get the message that people do NOT like door to door sales people.

Plus this is also used by criminals to gain access or to case out properties for theft.

Simple answer, don't open the door.

For bonus annoyingness, I've been door-stopped by commission-only sales reps for my *current* power company and ISP