Have you thought about switching before but not gone through with it? It could be costing you dearly
Switching the likes of your energy, broadband and mobile plans could save you well over €1,000
New research, published today by Switcher.ie has shown that two-thirds of Irish consumers plan to switch as least one of their current service or utility providers - such as motor insurance, gas and electricity, broadband and TV and mobile phone - in the next 12 months.
But, while it’s great news that such so many people are considering switching, unfortunately the research also shows that as many as seven in 10 have failed to go ahead with planned switches in the past.
Unfounded fear factors are putting people off switching - which means missing out on savings of over €1,150
The reasons people gave for not switching included things like thinking it was too much hassle, not wanting to get tied into a contract, and being unsure if a new supplier would save them money.
In fact, switching is straightforward and free using a site like Switcher.ie - and we’ve worked out that you could save over €1,150 in just a few minutes, by switching your energy, broadband&TV and mobile phone alone. Here’s how:
- At the moment, switching energy supplier can save the average customer up to €290;
- The biggest saving available on a standard broadband, TV and phone plan at the moment is on Sky’s Sky Entertainment + Sky Fibre Unlimited & Talk Freetime plan, which will net you a €444 saving;
- Switching from a standard mobile plan, which costs €50 per month, to one of the cheapest unlimited SIM-only deals on the market (Lycamobile’s Ireland Plus plan - €15 per month) will save you €420.
This comes to a whopping €1,154 saving - so think about how much you could save if you switched your other household services, too.
Switch and save up to €359 on your energy bills
It only takes a few minutes to find a cheaper deal and start saving
Loyalty doesn’t pay
This research also shows that we tend to be very loyal to our providers - with a massive two-thirds of current account customers sticking with the same bank for over 10 years, and a third of home phone, mobile phone and health insurance customers staying with their providers that long.
If this sounds like you, it’s important to know that loyalty really doesn’t pay. If you don’t switch regularly, you will be long gone off any discounted rates that you might have availed of when you first signed up, meaning you’re now paying over the odds for these household services.
When am I free to switch?
The research shows there’s a bit of confusion over when it’s ok to switch, too. All you really need to know is that, once you’re outside of your contract’s minimum term (usually 12-24 months, depending on the service), you are free to move to a new provider. Remember that, in most cases, you’ll still need to give your existing provider notice (usually 30 days), to allow for a final bill to be issued and the account to be closed off.
The exception to this is energy, where your new supplier will handle the whole switch with your current supplier, which makes the whole process very straightforward.
There’s also no need to worry about being tied into a really long contract - most are 12-24 months, but you’ll have a 14-day cooling-off period when you sign up, during which you can cancel without penalty. If you still don’t like the idea of being tied down, remember that some providers - such as Virgin Media - have 30-day broadband contracts, which could be a good option.
“Switching offers us the chance to take back control”
Speaking about the research, Switcher.ie’s Managing Director, Eoin Clarke, said: “It’s great that such a high percentage of consumers are considering switching this year - but we’re concerned that this could be all talk and little action. Switching offers us the chance to take back control of our spending and get more bang for our buck, but unfounded fear factors are preventing many from going through with planned switches, which means missing out on savings of over €1,150.”
He added that simply sticking with an existing supplier - particularly if you’ve been with them for a long time already - will frequently land you with a higher bill than if you shopped around, and strongly advised customers to set aside some time to shop around for new deals, adding: “An hour or two of work will pay huge dividends and could free up some much-needed cash.”