More and more people are shopping around, the NCA says - but some industries see fewer people changing provider than others. James Horan/Photocall ireland
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Four-fifths of people who switch service providers save money

The National Consumer Agency’s research shows that 79 per cent of people who change product or provider then pay less.

FOUR-FIFTHS OF PEOPLE who switched service providers in the last twelve months, or who stopped buying one product in favour of another, saved money by doing so.

That’s according to new research by the National Consumer Agency, which found that one in six people had switched car insurance provider in the last year, while one out of every seven consumers had changed grocery and electricity supplier in that time.

All bar a small handful – 8 per cent – of the survey’s respondents said they found the process of switching service providers to be either ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ easy.

41 per cent of people had changed their car insurance provider more than once in the last three years, while almost half of respondents had changed their main grocery provider.

57 per cent – four out of every seven consumers – said they had changed their local convenience store more than once in the last three years. 31 per cent of people had changed home insurer more than once in that time.

The research – carried out by Ámarach – found that some industries saw far less movement between providers than others, with only a few consumers switching banks, gas suppliers or health insurers.

The NCA’s Maria Hurley said that while the survey showed how consumers could make savings in some cases “with just a little effort by shopping around”, some were unaware of the savings that could be made by changing service provider in other industries.

“We would urge consumers not to be complacent, and regularly check to see if better value is available to them. Just because we may have switched a product or service provider a year or two ago, does not mean that we are still getting the best value deal today.”

Cost of living increased by 0.2 per cent in August >

Ireland has the lowest inflation rate in the EU >

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