Producers of the ITV2 reality show held a meeting with the cast and told the likes of James 'Arg' Argent, Gemma Collins, Joey Essex and Lauren Goodger to up their game for the next series.
"They were sat down and told the show would be coming back next year - but also what would be expected of them," a source told The Sun.
"Producers said if they all wanted to return, then a lot of them would have to change their attitude and buck up their ideas.
"There have been a lot of grumbles from producers about timekeeping by cast members, and the way the crew are treated, and they laid out these concerns during the meeting."
The TOWIE insider continued: "The stars were also told that the only way to guarantee their places was to be as exciting as possible on the show.
"But the cast were also able to air their grievances and complained about the long hours they are expected to film for just £80 a day. It was a bit of a clear-the-air session after all the troubles there have been."
Collins, Mario Falcone and Lucy Mecklenburgh previously walked out of filming after complaining about long hours and low pay. Producers reportedly threatened to sack them.
Goodger was also briefly suspended from The Only Way Is Essex after an argument with producers, while Georgina Dorsett has already been axed for apparently being "a bit of a damp squib".