The use of the remote disconnection function has the potential to remove an important final safety check available to customers faced with disconnection. PIAC notes that consumer advocates in Victoria have begun to question whether remote disconnection is too easy for retailers, contributing to more disconnections than should be expected. Accordingly, PIAC recommends that the NSW Government create a direct regulatory obligation on retailers in relation to the actions they must take when undertaking remote reconnection and disconnection services. PIAC believes that this approach appropriately addresses the safety risks and is the approach that will best ensure an adequate and consistent standard of practice. PIAC is of the view that the regulatory burden involved in both developing and monitoring compliance with a single set of standards is less than that of developing and monitoring a range of individual standards and processes.
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