Commercial comparison websites have again come under the spotlight this week, with accommodation platform Trivago found to be in breach of Australian Consumer Law for misleading consumers. It's a timely reminder to be careful when accessing any commercial comparison services, including energy ones.
In a case brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Federal Court ruled today that the company misled consumers about hotel room rates. “Trivago’s hotel room rate rankings were based primarily on which online hotel booking sites were willing to pay Trivago the most,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
Similar concerns have been raised about energy comparison sites. In April 2019, the ACCC instituted proceedings against iSelect Limited, for misleading or deceptive conduct and false or misleading representations in relation to its energy plan comparison service.
The ACCC alleges iSelect did not compare all available plans (despite claiming to), and did not necessarily recommend the most competitive plan, but rather limited the number of plans it compared based on the commercial arrangement it had with retailers. Some cheaper partner plans were also not made available in iSelect’s comparison results.
Which energy comparison websites are the best?
There are many comparison websites in the electricity and gas market but there are only two that are independent, don't take commissions and show all energy offers from providers in your area.
These sites compare the best plans from all providers and can help you switch.
Want to learn more?
The ACCC has a great guide to comparator websites with tips on what to look out for.