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Switching providers can save money - so why don't more do it?

People who switch providers can save an average of €15- €20 a month, said the National Consumer Agency.
Sep 4th 2013, 11:15 AM 7,342 29

MORE PEOPLE ARE switching providers – whether it is of gas, grocery, or other companies – but some think that there are still barriers there.

That is according to the latest research from the National Consumer Agency, which says that large numbers of people have never checked for better deals in key sectors.

It says that people who do switch providers can save an average of €15 – €20 a month.

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Pic: National Consumer Agency

The Behaviour and Attitudes survey showed that the area people are most likely to switch in is the grocery sector, with 26 per cent of consumers having switched where they do their main shop.

This was followed by:

  • Car insurance (23 per cent)
  • Utility companies (electricity 16 per cent and gas 16 per cent)
  • Broadband provider (14 per cent)

Despite the ability to save money – including an average saving of €42 in health insurance – around 37 per cent of consumers say they tend to stick to the same companies.

That is a decrease of 7 per cent compared to last year.

However, 27 per cent of consumers say they change companies often, and avail of better deals whenever they can, which is up 23 per cent from 2012.

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One of the reasons why people aren’t switching, said the NCA, is that many consumers still see it as a hassle. They also are not checking competitors’ prices.

Plus, some people have a distrust of the price offered and a difficulty in comparing prices.

The NCA’s chief executive Karen O’Leary has said however that switching has become a simpler process in many sectors in recent years.

The NCA site www.consumerhelp.ie includes free online tools where consumers can learn more more about switching.

Read: July heatwave got us spending (a bit) more>

Read: Revealed: The 10 biggest selling brands in the Irish grocery market>

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Aoife Barry

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