- Comparison site iSelect has been fined $8.5 million by the Federal Court.
- It was penalsied for misleading customers over its energy plans between 2016 and 2018.
- “About 38% of people who compared electricity plans with iSelect at that time may have found a cheaper plan if they had shopped around,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.
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The Federal Court has slapped iSelect with a multi-million fine for misleading customers over available energy deals.
The comparison site admitted that between November 2016 and December 2018 it misled customers into believing it was comparing all energy plans offered by its partners and recommending the most suitable one.
However, its commercial arrangements limited the number of deals that energy providers could upload, meaning that hundreds of thousands of customers were only ever shown a selection of what was available.
“About 38% of people who compared electricity plans with iSelect at that time may have found a cheaper plan if they had shopped around or used the government’s comparison site Energy Made Easy,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
iSelect would then claim a commission on any deals users selected. It also did not disclose that its best deals were only available through its call centre.
From 2017 to 2019 it also misrepresented the price of its plans to almost 5,000 customers by up to $140 per quarter.
“iSelect’s misleading conduct may have caused some consumers to switch electricity providers or plans on the basis of a price that was understated or without being aware that a cheaper plan was available,” Sims said.
“Comparison sites need to make it very clear if their recommendations are influenced or limited by commercial relationships.”
On top of the fine, corrective orders were made with iSelect also liable for the ACCC’s legal costs.
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