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Fear factors stop 6 in 10 consumers going ahead with planned switches

Consumers are missing out on huge savings as a result.

Have you ever thought about switching your gas or electricity supplier, or looking for a better broadband or TV deal?

If so, you’re not alone. Research published today by Switcher.ie shows that eight in 10 Irish consumers plan to switch provider for at least one household essential in the next year.

However, the research also shows that worries about getting tied into contracts, uncertainty about the savings to be made, fear of losing service, and concerns about the switching process could be putting lots of people off actually making a switch.

You could save hundreds of euro by switching

This could mean many of us are missing out on substantial savings, especially when you consider the average dual fuel customer could save up to €318 by switching from standard tariffs to the cheapest deals on the market.

In addition, there are discounts of up to €432 on certain broadband bundles at the moment - and you can also get SIM-only mobile plans from just €6 per month, so you could save a substantial amount by comparing deals and making a switch.

But what about those fear factors?

Getting tied into a long contract

Many people say they don’t want to switch as they are worried about getting tied into a long contract.

But Eoin Clarke, Switcher.ie’s Managing Director, says signing up with a new provider doesn’t need to be daunting.

He says: “In general contracts range from just 12-24 months for the likes of energy, broadband and TV, with SIM-only mobile deals, and some broadband and TV plans, available on 30-day contracts.”

And, remember, there’s a 14-day cooling-off period if you sign up and then change your mind.

Being unsure about the savings that can be made

As outlined above, there are substantial savings to be made by switching.

Loyalty is still very common in Ireland, but it really doesn’t pay - the vast majority of the time, sticking with an existing supplier will land you with a higher bill than if you shopped around.

Worrying about losing service

It’s totally understandable that you don’t want to lose your heating, electricity, or broadband during a switch to a new provider.

However, there’s really no need to worry.

In terms of energy, all suppliers use the same cables and pipes to supply gas and electricity to your home. Your new supplier handles the switch, so you don’t need to worry about being cut off at all.

With regards to broadband, you’ll just need to speak to your old provider to arrange a date where the service will end, and then contact your new provider to arrange installation.

Explain to your new provider that you want to have as little downtime as possible, and they should be able to pencil in an installation date that suits you.

Thinking that the switching process is too much hassle

This is a common misconception.

In fact, switching energy supplier only takes a few minutes with Switcher.ie’s free, accredited gas and electricity comparison tool - and you could save up to €318.

You can also compare broadband and TV, and SIM-only plans quickly and easily on Switcher.ie - and switching could save you hundreds.

“Loyalty doesn’t pay”

Speaking about switching, Eoin Clarke said: “It is vital that consumers are educated and feel supported enough to be able to shop around and switch freely so that they can make better-informed choices about the suppliers and products that suit their needs and budgets.”

Our gas and electricity, broadband and TV, and mobile guides have all of the information you need to help you understand the switching process and save hundreds of euro.