Loyalty is for losers - save €270 a month by switching 11 household services from mobile to electricity
It means consumers are missing out on savings of up to €270 a month by failing to switch for better value
PEOPLE in this country are loyal, but to a fault. Of course, being loyal is generally a good thing, but when it comes to saving money and getting better service, then loyalty is for losers.
The loyalty of consumers to service providers is one of the stand-out features from a survey commissioned by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the super quango that was formed from the merger of state bodies - the Competition Authority and the National Consumer Agency.
More than a third of consumers questioned for the research said they try to stick to the same companies.
Depressingly, the research has found few households switch services. The research was conducted on behalf of the state agency by Behaviour and Attitudes.
This is despite the fact that savings of €270 a month can be made from switching 11 common household services.
Over a year, that amounts to savings of more than €3,000, a not inconsiderable sum.
The study looked at common household services such as car insurance, electricity supply, mobile phones, grocery shopping, gym membership, health insurance, banking, waste supply, mortgages and life insurance, among others.
The biggest savings can be made by opting for a better-value life insurance/mortgage protection policy, at over €50 a month.
This is an area that has become crowded, with Laya Healthcare and AA Ireland the latest companies to offer life cover. Premiums have been coming down due to people living longer, and there is a lot of competition at the moment.
Switching mobile provider can save €25 a month. Getting a better deal on electricity supply is worth almost €27 a month, the commission said.
Moving from one TV service to another is worth €23 a month.
However, despite these big savings many people had not even checked to see if they could get a better deal.
Some 60pc of people have never even looked up if they could get better value by moving from one bank to another.
The research found 35pc of people have not checked if they could save by moving electricity provider, despite this being an easy move to make.
Is this loyalty, or are we being silly here?
The survey found that almost half of consumers did switch at least one product or service provider in the last 12 months.
The most noticeable increase in switching activity was in the mobile phone market, with the car insurance market also showing an increase in switching activity.
According to the research, consumers are most likely to switch to an alternative provider for car insurance, with about 29pc of motorists switching to an alternative insurer last year.
With motor insurance premiums sky-rocketing in the past year, rising by more than 34pc, it is likely that consumers will continue to show a propensity for switching.
Apart from car insurance, the research points to high levels of switching activity for electricity, gas and groceries.
Hassle and a belief that there is no difference in suppliers are the main reasons for people not switching.
However, those that do make the move are happy about it. Most said they feel they have saved money when they switched, with most finding the process easy. What are you waiting for?