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Brits fail to shop around

Brits fail to shop around

Category: Money

Updated: 12/04/2016
First Published: 12/04/2016

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Do you shop around to find the best deals? If not, you could be missing out, with research from Experian finding that consumers could be throwing away hundreds of pounds every single year by failing to switch provider – even if they know it could save them money.

In fact, the figures show that over a quarter (26%) of 18-55 year-olds surveyed are unwilling to switch providers for credit cards, current accounts, energy provider, broadband or phone package, regardless of the potential savings or additional benefits offered.

When asked which services they'd be most likely to switch, energy (20%) and insurance (15%) came out on top, provided it was guaranteed to save them money. However, just 9% said they're willing to switch current accounts and only 6% would switch credit card providers, despite the fact that almost half (44%) of respondents have most of their debt on credit cards.

But just what's stopping people from switching? Well, it looks as though many people simply can't be bothered, as although 49% said they'd be swayed by cheaper services and 43% by cash incentives, a similar number (46%) felt it was too much effort. However, a further 50% struggled to differentiate between service providers and 41% feared disruption during the switching process, so it could be the case that lack of awareness is playing a part, too.

Consumer champion Sarah Willingham said it's "frustrating" that so many consumers are being overcharged on the basics, "even though it's easier to switch now than it ever has been". She points out that the average consumer could save nearly £200 a year from just a few minutes of researching and switching, so what's stopping you?

"Companies are literally falling over themselves to offer the best deals to their customers and they're out there for the taking," said Sarah, "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."

So what are you waiting for? It's time to get started! You'll want to regularly review your various policies and packages to make sure you're getting the best deals, and don't be afraid to speak to your provider to see if you can get a better offer. If not, compare alternatives – our search tools will be a great place to start, and you could find you're able to save a small fortune simply by taking the time to see what else is out there.

What next?

Compare utility providers and insurance quotes

Check out the best credit cards, savings accounts and current accounts

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.