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Sunday 23 July 2017

Thousands fear being overcharged on bills

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Large numbers of householders fear they have been overcharged on essential bills like electricity, broadband and mobile phones.

The average overcharged amount is €50 and it takes five weeks to get a refund.

Part of the reason for the overcharging is because householders find it very difficult to understand utility bills, according to the survey from price comparison site Switcher.ie.

Consumers find energy bills are the most complex.

One-in-four of those surveyed said they find electricity and gas bills hard to understand.

People are bewildered by bills and told researchers they are not confident they could spot an error if they were over or undercharged by their supplier.

But fewer than half of energy consumers check their bills to see if they are correct. Many people just look at the total due, rather than looking at how the bill was calculated.

More than half of energy customers and a similar proportion of broadband users trust their suppliers to get the bills right.

However, for those who do check their bills the results show many paying too much.

One-third of consumers claim to have been overcharged at least once last year. This suggests thousands of householders are overcharged by millions of euro every year, Eoin Clarke of Switcher.ie said.

Irish Independent

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