Eight in 10 consumers plan to switch this year as Irish households feel the pinch

Almost eight in 10 of Irish households (78 per cent ) are planning to switch at least one of their household suppliers this year, according to new research from Switcher.ie

For almost all household services, more people say they intend to switch provider this year than they did in 2015. The findings show that 45 per cent plan to switch motor insurance, compared to 25 per cent in 2015, while one in three say they plan to switch Internet provider, up from 21 per cent. A further quarter intend to switch mobile phone network, up 9 per cent.

Despite these intentions, many consumers fail to follow through. While four in 10 say they plan to switch electricity proider in the next 12 months, almost double the number that intended to switch in 2015, the official figures tell a different story.

The Commission for Energy Regulation’s 2016 figures revealed that 14 per cent of Irish people actually switched electricity provider in 2016. In 2017, average switches per month are broadly in line with the numbers from last year. So, while the intent to switch is there, people do not always go ahead with it. In fact, three in five people said that they had previously thought about switching utility provider but did not switch in the end.

The research suggests fear factors are continuing to prevent people from switching. Key concerns appear to be: not wanting to get tied into a contract/pay a deposit to start a contract; not being able to tell if a new supplier would save them money; thinking that switching seemed like too much hassle; and being unsure if the new product was the same as what was offered by their old supplier.

One in 10 who did not go ahead with a switch were afraid of losing service, and more than a third of consumers are unclear about the fact that all electricity and gas suppliers use the same network to supply household energy.

Eoin Clarke, managing director of Switcher.ie, said: “Households across Ireland are still feeling the pinch, but switching offers us the chance to take back control, get better value for money and potentially save hundreds of euro – which could be crucial for anyone struggling with their bills. It only takes a few minutes to compare deals for broadband, energy, TV and phones and, with substantial savings to be made, it’s well worth taking the time.”

For more information, visitSwitcher.ie

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