National Consumer Agency publishes research on Irish consumer switching behaviours

Savings made by over 80% of consumers who switched providers in last 12 months

Eoin Clarke
by Eoin Clarke on 14th August, 2014

The National Consumer Agency (NCA) has today published research offering an insight into the switching behaviours of consumers in Ireland.

Carried out by Behaviour and Attitudes, the research showed that 43% of the 999 consumers questioned had switched providers for a minimum of one product or service over the last twelve months, with car insurance emerging as the most popular product to switch.

This trend continued with the following products and services:

  • Car insurance (25%)
  • Electricity provider (17%)
  • Gas provider (17%)
  • Gym membership (15%)
  • Main grocery shop (14%)
  • Home insurance and broadband/internet provider (both at 13%)

Areas where consumers made the greatest savings

The research from the National Consumer Agency also highlighted the areas where consumers in Ireland have made the most monthly savings by opting to switch providers.

The highest levels of savings were generated by mobile phone users at an average of €24, followed by those that chose to switch electricity providers at an average of €21. Average savings of €15 were made by those switching providers for their car insurance and gas supply, while those who opted to switch broadband and home insurance saved an average of €13.

To switch….or not to switch?

While the research highlighted that savings can be made by switching providers, some consumers still seemed reluctant to make the leap.

While a quarter of consumers revealed that they are happy to switch providers as often as they can in order to take advantage of the best deals, 38% said that while they ‘look around’ for other deals they are likely to stick with the companies they know.

Those consumers who are most likely to switch to ‘avail of better deals’ are aged under 35, according to the research. In contrast, those aged over 65 are most likely to stay loyal to the same provider. Overall, 36% of consumers revealed that they had resisted the urge to become seasoned switchers.

Commenting on the research, Fergal O’Leary, Director of Consumer Contacts and Insights at the National Consumer Agency, said: “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,” Mr O’Leary added.

76% of consumers surveyed said that they found the switching process easy so why not try for yourself? You can switch energy provider today and save up to €321 per year with also lets you compare and switch broadband providers to help you cut your broadband bills by over €300 a year.

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