Thursday, August 14 10:15:02
Hard-pressed consumers are switching service providers more often with 43pc saying they switched at least one product or service provider within the last year.
The National Consumer Agency's research into the switching behaviours of consumers in Ireland found that switching levels are highest for car insurance with 25pc of consumers having switched providers in the last 12 months.
This is followed by electricity provider (17pc), gas provider (17pc), gym membership (15pc), main grocery shop (14pc), and home insurance and broadband/internet provider (13pc each).
Mobile phone users who switched providers reported saving an average of E24 a month. This is followed by electricity suppliers who saved an average of E21 per month, with car insurance and gas supply switchers both reporting an average monthly saving of E15. Broadband/internet switchers and home insurance switchers each showed an average monthly saving of E13.
A quarter of consumers reported that they 'change companies often to avail of better deals' or service whenever they can. A further 38pc said that while they generally stick with the same companies they do 'look around' for other providers. Consumers under 35 stated that they are more likely to change providers often.
The research highlighted, however, that a significant number of consumers (36pc) said that they 'tend to stick' to the same companies. Consumers over 65 are more likely to stick to the same providers.
Fergal O'Leary, Director of Consumer Contacts and Insights at the National Consumer Agency said that: "While the research is positive in that many consumers are actively looking for better value, disappointingly there are still a significant number of consumers who don't consider alternative providers. This is particularly the case when the savings made by switchers clearly highlight the benefits of taking time to research alternative providers. It is very likely that consumers are paying more than they need to by not checking regularly to see if there are better deals available to them."
The research showed that 76pc of consumers who have switched providers in the last year found the process 'easy'. Consumers rated gas and electricity supply services as the easiest to switch. Switching bank/financial institutions was highlighted as the most difficult with only 55pc of respondents saying that they found switching bank/financial institution easy.
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