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Expert: opening the database of benefit recipients would create more preconditions for changing a gas supplier

12 February 2021

The Ministry of Social Policy simplified the procedure of changing a supplier for subsidy recipients, yet the exchange of data between various registers is traditionally very poor in Ukraine

The opening of the Ministry of Social Policy’s database of subsidy and benefit recipients would significantly improve competition in the gas market, because it would promote targeted work of suppliers with the potential clientele, DiXi Grouр Research Director Roman Nitsovych said in his interview to Telegraph.

“The discussion of this issue continues for many years. The opening of this information (surely, with the consent of consumers, because it concerns their personal information) would significantly improve competition in the gas market. It should encourage a more widespread change of suppliers than what we saw in the previous month. However, the protocol of this data among suppliers remains closed for the moment,” he said, stressing that as of today, every company operating in the gas market compiles an own consumer database.

Mr. Nitsovych even cited an example of how Naftogaz Group resolves the issue of compiling a database. This group quite actively interacts with customers, including potential ones. Inter alia, the company works via agreements with network institutions, such as, for example, banks. This strategy could be of use for other suppliers as well.

“Obviously, Naftogaz Group is the most interested in gaining an own niche in the market of gas supply to households, and it does everything it can to make that happen. Their advertising is very aggressive, and they pursue an active marketing policy. The group has agreements with network institutions, such as banks. And they become, in fact, Naftogaz’s agents for new contracts. Naftogaz may send some advantageous offer in the form of an email or simply a link. It must contain a request for access to your personal information. After that, it’s up to you to decide whether to permit or deny access to that information,” the expert says.

He added that Naftogaz began actively using its function of a wholesale gas supplier to gather information about consumers. There are conditions on which the group makes agreements with gazzbut companies on sale of gas for households: delivery of gas at the border price to civilian consumers. Naftogaz Group uses this technique to obtain access to information about potential customers.

“Presently, Naftogaz is actively gathering information about these consumers. This way, they can create an own customer database, to whom the company will afterwards send advantageous commercial offers. This activity is not prohibited under the law on protection of personal information,” the expert said.

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