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One Big Switch featured on A Current Affair a little while ago. In fact, they've been popping up in the media all over the place.

Although they have worked on 'The Big Bank Switch' in the past, One Big Switch's current focus is high electricity bills.

Anyway, the story on ACA claimed that households can save between 12% and 16% on their electricity bill, depending on the state you live in.

What is One Big Switch?

In essence, One Big Switch is a marketing engine.

They get large numbers of people 'on board' with their campaigns then use this market power to get good deals on certain household items.

It's a bit like those daily deal sites, but aiming at the bigger ticket household expenses.

Here's the offer

For me (in NSW) this was the offer:


What's the catch? Is it a scam?

It's no scam, but of course there are a few catches. To their credit, the key conditions are fairly clearly disclosed. The 3 year contract being the main one.

The above offer might sound great, but frankly, you can give yourself more options if you do the research yourself.

For example, I currently already get 10% off the regulated electricity tariffs through supplier DoDo. And my contract is only 1 year, not 3 years.

Also, since looking into the above offer my gas retailer (AGL) called up to offer me the exact same deal (12% off if I get both electricity and gas from them).

It's all good

If you are not getting a discount off regulated tariffs with your current supplier I strongly suggest you research your options.

If you're pressed for time, I don't see any harm in going with a service like One Big Switch. Just be sure to read the key conditions, and don't forget to check the status of your current contract (you wouldn't want to be slugged with hefty termination fees just to gain a few percent saving).

Apart from services like One Big Switch (link) there are a host of other electricity price comparison websites out there.

- Ryan McCarthy


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Comments

Matt:

People should also be made aware that each electricity and gas company charge different tariffs for energy and supply costs (in Victoria anyway). This should be taken into consideration and calculations done (a pain but worth checking)

August 13 2012 at 11:08 AM

Robyn:

Don’t be swayed by the discount percentage offered via One Big Switch retailers. You must compare rates as well as applying the percentage discount. You may end up worse off than your current arrangement. Ring your current retailer…they are in a position to negotiate, hungry to negotiate. Do the homework – come out the winner!

August 14 2012 at 12:08 PM

Gavin:

I live in the riverina NSW and got into the big switch thing but when I did my homework, discovered it better to stay with country energy. My current bill would cost me $40 more if I opted to take up their recommendation . Don`t be conned by the 10 – 17% cut hype so check your current bill and see what your peak and off peak rates are and compare that with their offers. My supplier charges me 99 cents a day to supply the power when the other recommended supplier charges $1.60 less 17% = $1.32

August 17 2012 at 07:08 PM

Fred:

I don’t know if anybody else has had this experience but at the moment “Onebigswitch” is one big pain. I agreed to switch on the 27Aug12 and received a welcome letter telling me I would get a contract shortly. Nothing happened so I rang on the 2ndOct,12thOct, 22ndOct same answer would be sent out soonest. In the meantime I had received a bill in which my discounts went down from 5% to 4%, I then sent a letter onthe 6th Nov 12 seeking clarification, guess what no answer, until phone call today 10thDec12. They are still asking for more time to finalise the agreed deal and alas I have no option since I have another bill due any day. So be warned Energy Australia is not a very good company to deal with.

December 10 2012 at 09:12 PM

Dave:

Mine is a similar experience to ‘Fred’ and heartily concur with ‘be warned Energy Australia is not a very good company to deal with’.

Signed-up for TRUenergy (EnergyAustralia) in July 2012. Have paid 3 bills in the period since and still no OneBigSwitch discount. Tried ‘phone to EA and emails to both EA & OBS. EA promise to respond but have yet to do so. They even pulled the ’no record of the switch’ gambit. OBS do reply but are ineffectual in dealing with EA. Not at all impressed by OBS or EA.

December 26 2012 at 12:12 PM

John:

So when is a scam not a scam? Appears the only certain winners are the mob promoting this scheme. Whether you win or lose, you can bet your bottom dollar they are pocketing millions with no outlay by themselves.

June 04 2013 at 05:06 PM

Bryan Smith:

Having worked in this industry for sometime it is very good to shop around www.billwatch.com.au

June 29 2013 at 03:06 AM

John:

same as Fred and Dave. But since supposed switch over in January I haven’t received a bill in post or contract details. Numerous emails and messages left with company and their rep keeps saying ‘Oh we don’t know what is happening but will fix it up’. Thinking of blowing the contract at risk of the $80 but by my reconning they have not met their side of the contract so should be null and void. One switch, should be ‘One Scam’

July 09 2013 at 09:07 PM

Eugene:

Signed up for TRUenergy One Big Switch offer in July 2012. Energy Australia who is TRUenery in fact, is unquestionably the worst big company I have ever dealt with. Trying to get then to deliver the promised discounts is painful beyond belief. I am now wonder if they ever intended delivering on the promise. I have made countless calls to their call centre. Each time I was promised that the situation would be corrected but needless to say, it never happens. I finally decided to write to the company but true to form, two letters later, they haven’t even had decency to reply. I will never deal with them again once the current contract expires. I will arrange my own discounts and won’t use One Big Switch either. They are all about great promises but no support once one enters into one of their arranged deals.

July 23 2013 at 04:07 PM

Stephen:

One big switch is a con – I’m sorry but it is. I can go to dozens of comparison sites and as an individual get a much better discount. On top of that One Big Switch couldn’t handle the volume. Sometimes the individual is more powerful then the mass – and this is one of those times, just google compare electricity prices and use one – you’ll get a better deal.

October 02 2013 at 03:10 PM

Tony:

At least most of you have been contacted back, I am still waiting or was waiting for a call back…. One Big Switch…. ONE BIG FAIL!!! I will not be recommending this company….

February 21 2014 at 12:02 AM

Tony:

Oh and I did forget to add…. When you post on their Facebook page and they don’t like what you have to say its deleted off…..They seem to be in it just to rip the consumer off….. its a shame really, managed correctly this could have been beneficial to so many struggling to meet day to day living…

February 21 2014 at 12:02 AM

Mark:

I did the one big switch, I call it one big joke, with electricity in 2012 and have had nothing but grief since with wrong bills. I have spent 20 – 30 hours on the phone to people who are completely untrained. Nightmare, ombudsman and media is next option

March 19 2014 at 08:03 AM

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