ABOUT US

person discussing

We know the cost of living is going up and ‘The Great Australian Rip Off’ campaign is uniting consumers to create political pressure ahead of the Federal Election.

Millions of Australians are unknowingly paying higher premiums and bigger bills to cover the cost of the ‘secret’ commissions collected by commercial comparison websites.

The industry blows the whistle

A CHOICE Review of insurance comparison websites (2017) found commissions had adverse impacts on consumers.

One comparison website was paid a commission of up to 60 per cent every time it sold a new life insurance product.

BUPA told the CHOICE Review:

Comparators claim as much as 40 per cent of the first year’s premium as their commission for informing people of their choice. This fee doesn’t go to buying health services for anyone; it is taken off the table, must be absorbed somewhere and leads to higher premiums for everyone in the long run”.

Admissions consumers are paying

Four of Australia’s largest insurers – IAG, Suncorp, QBE, and Allianz, boycott commercial comparison websites because of the extra costs that would need to be passed on to consumers.

In a submission to a Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into Australia’s General Insurance Industry (2017) Allianz wrote:

“Allianz chooses not to participate in commercial comparison sites in Australia. They charge a fee for their service and therefore impose an unnecessary additional distribution cost that would need to be passed on to our consumers in the form of higher premiums”.

Consumer watchdog recommends action

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) following its Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry (2018) recommended regulatory action to mandate full disclosure of commissions and penalties for breaches.

What the campaign is calling for

The Great Australian Rip Off campaign is uniting consumers to make cost of living and transparency core election issues.

By joining the campaign, you are asking for a commitment to two regulatory actions:

Implement Recommendation 34 of the ACCC 2018 Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry—Final Report: The Australian Government should prescribe a mandatory code of conduct for third-party intermediaries, which addresses the issues discussed in chapter 14. For example, offers should be recommended based on price benefit to the consumer rather than the size of the commission received by the third party. The code should contain civil penalty provisions for any breaches. (p.282)

Mandate full disclosure of all commissions, payments, and other incentives in the relationships between commercial comparator websites and suppliers.

How you can take action

Join the campaign. Add your name by signing up and an email will be sent, on your behalf, to your local Federal MP asking

  • Do they agree with the ACCC’s recommendation for regulatory action to mandate the disclosure of commissions to commercial comparison websites?
  • Will they give an undertaking to make it an election issue?

Make it an election issue 

Send a personal email or letter to your local Federal candidates asking them to promise to introduce a Private Members Bill to implement the ACCC’s Recommendation 34 for mandatory disclosure and publicly declare the need for greater transparency in the industry as part of their election platform.

Supporting the campaign

Australian businessman and consumer advocate Trond Smith has spent eight years investigating the commercial comparison website market and, weeks out from the Federal Election, has launched The Great Australian Rip Off campaign to unite consumers.

Mr Smith is building a consumer-based community called Kyco which uses group buying power to negotiate directly with providers for lower, long-term prices for energy and other household services.

It is free to join and there are no hidden commissions, just a three per cent commission. For members, the bigger the community the bigger the savings.

Stop ‘secret’ commissions pushing up your cost of living

Sick and tired of high insurance, electricity, and household bills?

‘Secret’ commissions of up to 60 per cent paid to brokers, commercial comparison websites, and other third-parties to get your business, are one of the reasons why you are paying more.

Politicians know it. The industry knows it AND the consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has recommended regulatory change.

But nothing has been done.

Make it an election issue. JOIN THE CAMPAIGN to tell politicians you want to #StopTheRipOff.