Switching services may not be in the best interest of consumers, new survey suggests

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Britain's competition regulator has recently opened an investigation into whether price comparison websites are working in people’s best interests

Consumer groups have long-championed the need for Britons to switch services to get the best deal, but a poll released today suggests there is only a limited benefit.

More than a half (58 per cent) of those surveyed said they did not notice “a significant financial benefit when switching service providers”.

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently opened an investigation into whether price comparison websites are working in people’s best interests.

While more than a third of Britons said they regularly use switching services only 19 per cent reported improved service from the new provider and only a quarter said that they were actually happier having made a switch, according to customer contract specialist Echo.

Read more: Firms forced to "up their game" by price comparison sites, says regulator

“These results make interesting reading following on from the CMA’s advice and ongoing investigations,” said Echo head of sales Chris Cullen.

Echo said there was a growing number of "switching sceptics", which highlighted what at first seems like a better deal rarely turns out to have long-lasting benefits.”

Cullen said:

With the expectation of big savings being fuelled by price comparison site advertising, it’s not surprising that the relatively meagre returns are causing a rise in scepticism.

“It should create an incentive for providers to fight harder to keep hold of their customers, using better service, transparent pricing and extra perks and benefits to encourage customers to see the long-term value in loyalty.”

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