Customers not shopping around for better deals


The number of consumers prepared to shop around for better value across a range of services, including banking and the supply of electricity and gas, has fallen dramatically in the last 12 months, the National Consumer Agency has said.

Its latest survey found that across 18 categories, the number of people who have switched product or service provider in the past 12 months has fallen from 43 per cent to 32 per cent.

The majority of those who did not switch had not even checked to see if there was a better deal available to them.

Some 67 per cent of bank customers who had not switched institution never checked to see if there was a better current account available, while 62 per cent of consumers said they had not checked to see if there was a better television deal available.

The same number of people had not looked to see if they could get gas for less, while 58 per cent had not checked to see if they could get electricity more cheaply.

The chief executive of the agency, Ann Fitzgerald, urged people to make sure they were getting the best deal “even if they are happy with their current provider” and to regularly review their main expenses. In many sectors the deals changed quite frequently, she said, and consumers should constantly be on the lookout for better value.