Bamboozling bills: Irish households find utility bills too hard to understand
This could be putting consumers at risk of missing important details about their account.
Research published recently by Switcher.ie has revealed that over six in ten Irish consumers are confused by their household bills - with 40% of people saying their energy bill is the most difficult to interpret.
In saying that, three in ten people admit to not reading and checking their bills thoroughly - but more worryingly, almost half of people simply trust their suppliers to bill them correctly. This is a bit concerning given a quarter of consumers say they were overcharged on at least one essential bill - across Broadband, Electricity, Gas, Home Phone, Mobile Phone or TV - in the past year.
It’s important to remember that if you’re not reading your bills thoroughly you could be missing important information relating to your account and charges - for example whether or not your energy bill was estimated. Of those who received an estimated bill in the last year, a third say their bill was higher than what it should have been.
What can I do if I don’t understand my bills?
Firstly you should get into the habit of opening all of your bills - whether they come by mail or online, weekly, monthly or annually - and make sure you read them in detail.
If, like many others across the country, you open your bill and it doesn’t make sense to you, check your supplier’s website to see if they have any useful information and resources. Suppliers have made a real effort to provide their customers with helpful information on how to read their bills, and what the charges mean for them.
If you still can’t understand some of the details or charges on your bill get in touch with your supplier directly. They will be more than happy to talk you through your bill and any concerns you have.
Eoin Clarke, Managing Director of Switcher.ie says: “Bills may seem boring, but they contain really important information. If you avoid reading them, you run the risk of being over or under charged and you could also be missing out on opportunities to save money by changing your usage habits, or switching to a better deal.”
Tips for checking you energy bill
With four in ten consumers finding their energy bills the hardest to understand we’ve put together some top tips to help make the process a little less painful: