Following the announcement by Origin Energy that the energy retailer will no longer force consumers to pay exit fees to terminate a contract, the Queensland Consumers Association has called for all power retailers to follow suit.
Association energy spokesperson, Ian Jarratt, says exit fees deter consumers from changing retailer and thus reduce consumer choice and competition between energy suppliers.
Exit fees are particularly unfair when a contract allows the retailer to change prices at any time during the contract.
Such contracts mean a customer can sign on for up to two years but soon afterwards find that the price has changed substantially, there are better deals elsewhere, or that the retailer’s service is unsatisfactory. However, to change retailer an early termination fee has to be paid.
QCA also says it is unfair that the customer has to pay the full exit fee even if the contract has been in place for some time. It has been advocating for exit fees to take account of how long the contract still has to run.
However, the Association’s preference is for retailers to not charge any exit fees.
So, the Association welcomes Origin Energy’s decision to stop charging exit fees and calls on other energy retailers to follow suit.
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