We aim to make this website informative and functional, but above all we’re committed to protecting your privacy.
To use many of the website’s features, you’ll be asked to give us some personal information. Rest assured we’ve taken a number of measures to protect this information in a secure online environment.
Collecting your personal information
To use some of the customer services and features in this website, we need you to enter standard personal information about yourself and your energy account. We collect and securely store this information so we can accurately identify you in the future, and contact you when we need to. For instance, we could ask for your address details to send you a brochure, your contact details for a competition entry, or your bank details so you can pay your energy bill online.
We’ve established strict systems and procedures to protect your privacy whenever we collect, use, store or disclose your personal information. Our security measures are designed to stop unauthorised access to your account or personal information.
A ‘cookie’ is a packet of information that makes it much easier for us to identify and communicate with your computer. Our cookie doesn’t harm your computer in any way, and doesn’t identify you personally. It helps us by identifying your web browser type and your internet service provider, like BigPond for example. The cookie we send to you will stay on your computer for one year.
When you access our website, we send your computer a cookie that gives you a unique identification number. Then, each time you use our web site a different identification number is sent. The cookie makes it easier for you to go forward and backward through pages, and go straight to pages you’ve already visited on our site.
Cookies help us by telling us which pages on our website are viewed the most. We use this knowledge for example to keep our website updated with the most requested and useful information as well as ensuring our existing and new products and services continue to meet our customers’ needs.
You have the option of setting up your web browser to accept all cookies, reject all cookies, or notify you when a cookie is sent. Your web browser’s help screens can guide you through this. But to make an online payment, you must have cookies enabled on your web browser.
Information logged on our website
When you register and log into secure parts of our site, we record some information for administration purposes:
- Browser type and operating system of your computer
- Your internet service provider (ISP)
- Your top-level domain name (for example, .com, .gov, .au)
- The address of any referring web site
- Your computer’s IP (internet protocol) address.
Links to other sites
Some sections of the Synergy website have links to other websites. We review these sites before linking to them, but the content and privacy practices of these other websites is outside our control.
We collect and store the words you enter into our site’s search field, to learn what information people are generally looking for. This helps us improve the site by including the information you ask for. These search
words aren’t connected to any kind of personal information.
Please contact us at any time if you have questions about the privacy of your personal information, or if you’d like to know the personal information that we are holding about you.
We appreciate that like most people, your privacy is probably very important to you. So as a valued customer, your privacy is also extremely important to us.
We have strict systems in place to make sure your personal details stay protected, and are only used for the right purposes. In every instance we collect, store, use and disclose your information professionally and respectfully.
So you can feel confident about sharing your personal details with us, we describe how we maintain your privacy as well as how you can access and control the personal information you give us.
What does this policy cover?
Our policy covers the collection, storage, use, disclosure and security of your personal details. We explain how and when we collect your personal information, what that information is used for, who uses it and when it may be disclosed to other parties. The policy also explains how you can access your details and control your own personal information.
What is personal information?
Details such as your name, address, phone numbers or email address are all considered personal information. Other types of personal information can include:
- Financial details, including your credit card number or bank account number
- Information that uniquely identifies you, like your date of birth Product purchase details, such as the date you connected to Synergy, and
- Your usage information relating to power supply or any other product or service.
We need this information to be able to give you the best service possible. If you choose not to provide the personal information we ask you for, we may not be able to offer all of our products and services to you.
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How we collect your personal information
Wherever it’s possible, we try to collect personal information directly from you. Usually this is done over the phone, when you fill out an application form or contract, when you contact us through our website, or when you speak to us in person. Sometimes we’ll also confirm your details with external agencies such as the Office of Seniors’ Interests, Centrelink or other government agencies. Occasionally we’ll collect your personal details from sources such as real estate agents, builders, or power of attorneys — but only when you’ve authorised them to provide that information.
It’s normal business practice to collect or receive personal information from external agencies, when it’s necessary for us to be able to provide you with our energy products and services. Sensitive information (for example your membership with a professional or trade association) will only be collected if needed, and only if you’ve consented to providing that information.
How we use your personal information
The main reasons we use your personal details are to connect, maintain, service and bill your energy products and services. We could also use your personal information:
- to build a relationship with you
- for internal accounting and administration
- for debt recovery
- for our regulatory reporting and compliance
- for legal requirements
- to help us identify and keep you informed about other Synergy products and services that you could benefit from.
So that we can communicate effectively with you, we provide information about Synergy’s and related company’s products, services, initiatives and promotions in newsletters, magazines and inserts with your energy bill.
Direct marketing and your privacy
As well as the information you receive with your bill, we may occasionally contact you directly with related energy news, information, and special offers from How to ace an interview and other businesses.
If you don’t wish to receive direct marketing information from us, apart from what you receive normally with your bill, please contact us. We’ll need a short processing period to action your request. Any direct-marketing material sent to you by our website includes the opportunity to opt out of any future marketing communication.
Credit reporting agencies and your credit information
If your account remains overdue for more than 60 days, we may give information about you to a credit reporting agency. This information will allow the credit reporting agency to create or maintain a credit information file containing information about you. The information that we disclose about you is limited to:
- Identity details – your name, sex, address (and your previous two addresses), date of birth, name of employer and drivers licence number
- Amounts that are overdue by more than 60 days and for which debt collection action has started;
- Advice that your payments are no longer overdue in respect of any default that has been listed;
- Information that, in our opinion, you have committed a serious credit infringement (that is, acted fraudulently or shown an intention not to comply with your credit obligations);
- Dishonoured cheques – cheques drawn by you for $100 or more which have been dishonoured more than once.
This information may be given before, during or after the supply of services to you.
The people who use your personal information
Only a select number of our staff have authority to access your information, and only to allow them to carry-out heir jobs. We may also need to disclose your personal information to others who are part of our processes to deliver the products and services you want from us. Those people may include call centre operators, billing and mailing houses, credit reporting agencies, debt collection agencies, network operators and financial institutions. We’ll only disclose your personal information to these agents, contractors and related businesses:
- On a confidential basis, for the purposes of our business
- Where the law requires us to do so; or
- If you consent.
Keeping your personal information correct and up-to-date
So that we can deliver the best possible service to you, it’s important that we maintain accurate and up-to-date information about you. We use our best efforts to make sure the personal information we collect, use and disclose is correct, complete and up-to-date. The best way to get this result, is to let you correct or change the personal information we store for you. So if you’d like to make any changes to your personal information, simply contact us and we’ll carry out your instructions.
Access to your personal information
You’re welcome to ask for a written copy of the personal information we hold about you, at any time. To do this, simply contact us with your request and include your contact details. We’ll contact you to establish proof of your identity before sending you these details.
We’ll respond to your request for this information as quickly as possible. At a minimum, we’ll confirm receiving your request within five working days of it arriving with us. We may charge for the reasonable costs we incur in providing you with this information.