Changes to a contract or increase in fees - how were you notified?

Hey all,

We’re working on a story about the way businesses disclose changes to their terms and conditions, contracts and fee structures. Have you had any business or service change the fees part way through the contract?

Which business was it, and what did they change? And how did they notify you/how did you find out about the change?


My power company increases the fees when they are changed by the Qld Competition Authority. I generally am not advised until I get the next bill that has the increased price structure in it. We don’t normally receieve any other notification.


Origin Energy changed my rates when the NSW pricing authority made a change, but did not notify me. As I was on a discount contract I wanted to know the new rates. When I complained they said they thought it was unnecessary because the changes were publicized by the media.
Later, they did not notify me when my contract was due to expire, so I only learnt of this when the bill arrived. If I had wanted to renew the contract, this would not have become effective until the next billing period, meaning I would pay full price for 6 months.
I switched to Power Shop but Origin then forced a delay of 6 months before the change, which only occurred then because I reported the matter to EWON.


Origin seem to be a law unto themselves. I was with Origin for a few years when they stopped emailing full accounts, just a demand for payment of $xxx by a certain date. No detail. I spent ages trying to get them to send me an account but they refused. I thought this was probably illegal but didn’t have the time, energy or temperament to do anything about it so changed suppliers. Since then, more trouble, but that’s another story.

@jwillis, @topsi4 - there is quite a bit of research that indicates the big 3 retailers - Origin, AGL and Energy Australia (that represent 90% of the market) are skimming big profits from energy consumers. Our research confirms that currently Origin and AGL have some of the highest priced plans in the market. We are doing some work on a new energy switching service called POWERUP and looking at automatically switching consumers between energy plans. Unfortunately it is typical that long delays occur when switching customers, our experience has seen this often takes up to 4 months, depending on the billing cycle. I understand that if you have a smart meter installed this decreases switching times significantly. In Victoria these meters are much more widespread. Unfortunately these big retailers are not consumer friendly and we rarely recommend people switch to them unless there is an attractive sign up deal. Our model is to track changes in rates and automatically switch people to an alternative retailer when this occurs.


Here’s @JemmaCastle’s story on changes to terms and conditions, and some of the traps to avoid.