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More than one quarter of Britons won’t shop around for the best deal PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 April 2016
Britons could be throwing away hundreds of pounds every year by not shopping around for the best deals, research by credit experts Experian has found.

The YouGov survey revealed that over 26 per cent of 18-55 year olds are unwilling to switch providers for their credit cards, banking, energy, broadband or telephone, no matter what the potential savings or what additional benefits they were offered.

When asked which services they’d be most likely to switch, energy (20%) and insurance (15%) came out on top if the provider guaranteed to save them money. However, fewer than 1 in 10 (9%) are willing to switch current accounts and only 6% would switch credit card providers, in spite of the fact that almost half of those surveyed have most of their debt on credit cards (44%).

Interestingly, those aged between 35 and 55 were almost twice as likely as 18- to 34-year-olds to switch (19% vs. 10%) insurance providers, while the opposite is true for current accounts (7% vs. 13%).

So, what’s stopping us?
Whilst almost half (49%) say they would be swayed by cheaper services and 43% by cash incentives, it’s clear that people really struggle to differentiate between service providers (50%). A similar number (46%) feel it’s too much effort to switch, or fear disruption during the switching process (41%).

Consumer champion Sarah Willingham believes it’s time for a rethink of our attitudes towards switching. She says: ‘I’m not entirely surprised at these results but it’s so frustrating that so many of us are being overcharged for the basics like phone and energy even though it’s easier to switch now than it ever has been. I realise that lots of us feel like it’s just another thing on the ‘to do’ list but it’s a no brainer when you think the average person could save nearly £200 a year from just a few minutes spent researching and switching. That’s free money! What could you do with an extra £200 a year in your pocket?

Companies are literally falling over themselves to offer the best deals to their customers and they’re out there for the taking, but it does require action on our part. It’s a little effort for a BIG reward. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain.’

Three tips to get the best deals for savvy savers

1. If you don’t ask, you don’t get
It’s important to regularly review your insurance, energy, broadband, mobile and credit providers to ensure you are getting the best financial deals. Make a list of all your current services and the rates that you are paying. Then, why not ring around and see if your providers can offer you a better deal.

2. If not, fear not
Check out the best available deals online. Price comparison and matching services have come on in leaps and bounds in the last few years. Some tell you the best financial deals available and others can even match your credit information to the credit products that you are most likely to get – potentially saving you time and money in the long run.

3. Slow and steady wins the race
Many applications may often require a credit check and so switching everything at the same time could negatively affect your credit score. In addition, taking the time to improve your credit score can also help you secure the best deals.

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