Long time reader, first time rioter 🙂
I’m half way through a two year bundle with ACTEWAGL for my phone, electricity and gas.
I’ve had these services with ACTEWAGL for the last 5 years and last year I was called by a salesperson asking if I’d like to “bundle and save”. My most recent bill shows that I’m saving 3% on my electricity as a result of my commitment to ACTEWAGL. To put that in context, the last bill shows that I saved $16 for the winter quarter.
After discovering a better deal for my landline with Internode I called TransACT to see what my break costs would be to remove my phone service from the bundle.
Apparently I’m up for $50 for each of the three services (although I’m really only dropping one).
So, to break a contract that saves me $16 a quarter (winter is our biggest electricity bill) or up to $128 for the two year contract, we still have to pay a break fee of $150 (when half of the contract is already passed).
I was repeatedly told by today’s salesperson that “I would have been told” the terms. Honestly he’s probably right. It’s also true that the original sales person would have had access to our consumption history and I’m pretty clear I wasn’t told “Hey, to save up to $128, remove your access to new competition and expose yourself to a possible break cost, liable, in full, for the contract term, that is well in excess of the full discount we’re offering, sign here”.
Pretty sure my enthusiasm would have been tempered.
Clearly it’s a case of buyer beware and I wasn’t as cautious of the deal ACTEWAGL was offering as I should have been. I’m just putting this out there so that other consumers can be far more aware than this one.
Be careful of bundling. Be careful with calls offering to “bundle and save”. Be careful of our corporate citizen ACTEWAGL because what could be promoted as “saving you” could also be stitching you up quite thoroughly.