July 8, 2020
Four years have passed for the electricity industry and three years for the gas industry since the full liberalization of new entry into the respective retail markets started and new entrants started supplying electricity or gas to consumers in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Since then, the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan (NCAC), Consumer Affairs Centers across Japan and other consultation counters, as well as the Electricity and Gas Market Surveillance Commission (EGC) under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) have continuously been receiving requests for consultation from consumers concerning electricity or gas supply. Moreover, these organizations and counters have recently been receiving reports of inappropriate actions conducted by electricity or gas retailers concerning issuance of written contracts or calculation of electricity or gas rates.
From the viewpoints of issuing alerts to consumers and preventing consumers from being involved in any further problems, METI hereby releases a collection of case examples of consumer requests for consultations and provides advice to consumers about how to address them.
1. Case examples of consumer requests for consultations concerning electricity or gas services
Concerning the following requests for consultations, METI compiled an Appendix shown in Item 2 “Related material” explaining the details of the requests for consultations, related advice to consumers and other comments.
Case example 1: I received an explanation from a salesperson that my contract with my current electricity retailer had to be changed to another retailer and I told the person my customer number and other personal information.
Case example 2: I received a telephone solicitation from a salesperson who said that my electricity and gas rates would become lower if I made a new contract, and I made a contract with a new retailer.
Case example 3: I received a notice of bankruptcy from my electricity retailer.
Case example 4: I requested that my electricity retailer suspend the payment of my bill because I was affected by the impact of the novel coronavirus disease.
Case example 5: A salesperson told me that I had to make a new contract with another retailer which involves setting a new rate because of the impact of the novel coronavirus disease.
Case example 6: I examined a bill sent from my electricity retailer and found that an unfamiliar, optional service that was not included in my signed contract had been added to my bill.
Case example 7: A salesperson visited me and said that my electricity rates would be reduced if I told the person the customer information shown on my bill and the amount of electricity that I consumed.
2. Related material
- Appendix: Collection of case examples of consumer requests for consultations involving the full liberalization of new entry into the electricity or gas retail market and METI’s advice thereon (in Japanese) (PDF:480KB)
Division in Charge
Market Surveillance Division, Executive Bureau, Electricity and Gas Market Surveillance Commission