A survey of 2,000 UK consumers found that 83% of people thought switching energy provider was easy, higher than car insurance or home insurance. Only 70% of people thought switching broadband provider was easy. Only 46% of consumers in the survey thought switching a mortgage was ‘easy’.
Switching some services is just a matter of a phone call. Other services require a little more thought. For example, switching broadband means sorting out a new router or waiting in for a new telecoms engineer. Switching your mortgage to a new provider can mean a new administration fee of up to £1,500. Switching credit cards is fairly onerous as it means a new credit check and a long form to fill out.
However, with an energy switch you simply fill out a short-ish form, and the new energy supplier can have you switched over within 21 days. There’s little additional work to do, other than ensuring your old account is paid up and closed down.
The survey highlighted the amount of times consumers had switched. It found that nearly two-thirds of consumers had changed provider for one of the ten most common financial products or services within the last twelve months.
Keep on top of your bills
At Bills Dashboard, we believe consumers need to keep on top of all their financial products and services. The only way to maintain the cheapest profile is to switch annually or when your contract ends. The exception to this is with mortgages, where a rate change with your existing provider is the cheapest option. As most people are on a fixed rate mortgage, this is the best approach.
With car insurance and home insurance, switching annually is a must to keep the costs down. Automatic price hikes on renewals are now standard from all the major car insurance companies. Switching credit cards at the right time is also important. For example, you may be on a 0% balance transfer card, but your 0% purchase rate may have ended, so you’re paying higher rates of interest on the new purchase amounts. It is a good time to switch credit cards when your beneficial purchase rate ends.
The survey shows the consumers are becoming much more engaged with managing bills, and being able to switch easily is an important part of this.