/ Money

Vote with your feet – which services have you ditched?

Business man running

Although it seems like a hassle to switch car insurance or savings account, I think I’m better off for it. That’s why I’m marching at the head of a band of consumers who are all voting with their feet! Will you join us?

I opened my first bank account when I went to university. That was years ago, as you can tell from my mugshot, and I’m still with the same bank today. I only chose them because my dad was with me at the time and banked with them too. Not a great reason, I know…

Are they the best bank on the high street? Not according to our research, but then they aren’t the worst either – and if they’d ever done anything awful to me I would probably have moved. The truth is that, right now, my fear of them messing up my mortgage payments and losing all my direct debits if I tried to switch to another bank outweighs my desire to get a better deal elsewhere.

I’m a savings rate tart

Talk to me about savings accounts, on the other hand, and I would freely acknowledge that I’m a rate tart. I have savings accounts with half a dozen banks and building societies and expect to move money every six to 12 months to make sure I’m getting the best deals.

The difference here, of course, is that there really is a difference between the best and worst accounts – and I can measure it down to the last penny. Since I do virtually all of my saving online, customer service is really not an issue – if the website works and the interest rate is good, I’m there.

The same is true of car insurance – I switch every year without fail because I know I will save £100+ for 10 minutes work online – I’d be a fool not to (though god knows I was a fool for years following the “advice” of an insurance broker who claimed to be able to find me the best deals).

What have you switched?

I trust that if you’re a regular visitor to Which? Convo, you vote with your feet too and don’t let companies that offer duff rates get away with it.

So, we’re urging you not just to vote with your feet but also to let us know if you have, that way, we can see where our help is most needed and whether we need to improve our advice on switching certain products.

You can share your switching experiences in the comments below, or use our widget to quickly tell us what services you have switched.

Are you a serial switcher, or are there things that are stopping you from voting with your feet?

Comments
Profile photo of scott1984_fp
Member

I have always been fan of voting with My feet & switching between companies when I am unhappy with them Or they are too pricey, slow, poor, bad, bad name, & MORE 🙂

Although switching from landlines,boardband,contract mobiles, & banks, Can be very hard to transfer,leave,switch,change, & Some have fines,penalties,charges, & Some mess up paper work 🙁

Its normally easier to switch from Pay As You Go (PAYG) Mobiles & Love the use of the PAC Code & I am now with GiffGaff.Co.Uk for all My mobile PAYG needs since September 2010 🙂

It would be nice if Virginmedia Fiber Opitic Cabled Broadband could be transferred to companies like BT Plc & Other Providers, & The same when BT Plc bring out there Fiber Optic Cabled Broadband, Like with do with dail up, landlines, & ADSL Broadband, Where it has to be shared to companies like BT Plc, VirgineMedia, Orange Mobile, Post Office, Sky, & Many More.

I also think BT Plc with BT Vision should still work,Even if there customers with landline & broadband decide to move/switch to another broadband/landline service/company, But we may choose & still want our Tv from BT Plc BT Vision & I also think VirginMedia should be forced & made to have to offer there Virginmedia Tv Services, ondemand through ADSL Broandand/Landlines like BT Plc with BT Vision & BSKYB/Sky With there limited XBox360-Sky Player,

As this will make it easier for Non-Virginmedia Fiber Optic Cabled Broadband Customers to get tv from VirginMedia, Rather than just from BT Plc Bt Vision,Freeview,Sky,.

Profile photo of scott1984_fp
Member

My first account was set up for Me when I was young & With NS&I,

When I was a kid I opened up a savings account & cash card account with Abbey National Plc,

I later had to close the accounts & re-open it the same day I was going for My job interview with Marks & Spencer Plc, I believe it was My 2nd interview/s & Knew I was getting the job & Needed a bank account for future wages.

I stuck with Abbey National Plc since a child 7 or 10, to 2007 when I was 23 years old,

I then moved to HSBC Bank Plc, As Abbey National Plc had got worse other the years, from Great building Society & Than Bank & Then name changes from Abbey National Plc To Abbey, & Now Santander & Its got WORSE Since being owned & run by Santander.

I later set up a 3rd bank account with Co-Op in April 2011, As I wanted to slowly make My HSBC Bank Account as more an Savings account, Along with My £500 Premium Government Uk Bonds & The NS&I Account from a child, & ING-Direct Savings Account Since 2005,

As all those accounts offer different rates & deals & Help Build a credit history.

I am going to be closing My Santander Bank Account, But Not before I make an complaint, As when they changed there name to Santander, They choose to replace My Visa Debit Card & Cash Card to there new name Santander, Despite neither of My cards expiring for many years & Without checking with Me,

They sent 3 Visa Debit Cards to Santander Bank Branches Bournemouth & 2 Cash Cards To Santander Bank Branches Bournemouth & 1 to a London Santander Bank Branch,

Everytime I complained on/over the phone with an 0845 number, No staff could explain why these cards had been sent Bournemouth Santander Bank Branches, When I’ve only lived in London & Carlisle, Nor would Santander Bank allow Me to make a complaint & seek an investigation as to why these cards where sent to Bournemouth Santander Bank Branches 3 Times?. :/

Glad I only have £6 In My Santander Bank Account & The only reason I have not closed it since October 2007 when I joined HSBC Bannk Plc, Is because I wanted to build a credit history for a few years with HSBC Bank Plc first & Also because of My clinical depression & mental health,

Although Santander Bank has been slipping for many years now & I will close the account soon & E-Mail the CEO for an investigation as to why these cards where sent to Santander Bank Branches 3 Times & Why they would not allow Me to complain over the phone those 3 times I phoned up & They had no answer to this mistakes/errors.

I believe we should have loads of banks & savings accounts, as they offer different things & Once set up, Its easy to transfer cash Or for saving/savings, Or Benefits like mobile insurance & financial advice & More 🙂

As long as were not abusing our banks & getting in debit/debits,& Not avoiding tax/taxes, & Not hidding extra income/monies & So on, Then we can have loads of banks & saving accounts & should switch our money/monies/funds/savings often 🙂

Profile photo of alistair
Member

I am planning to leave British Gas soon. I am eighty quid in credit and they still want to put my monthly direct debit up from 22 pounds per month to 56 pounds per month.
Even allowing for an impending 18 per cent increase in fuel charge, that’s a flipping outrage, and that is what I told ’em on the phone the other day.
Good Riddance British Gas – go rip off some other mug

Profile photo of scott1984_fp
Member

Yeah I’ve found British Gas as very bad energy suppliers/providers & Charge LOADS,

Also on our estate I’ve heard stories of British gas just signing people up to there gas & electricity on the doorsteps & sometimes signing them up without permission too :/ 🙁

So you’ve not said or explained why & where you going to for your new Gas & electricity energy supplier?.

[This comment was edited slightly for legal reasons – mods]

Profile photo of scott1984_fp
Member

I am with EDF-Energy for both Gas & Electricity & Have been with them for years & Get Sainsburys Nector Points,

Although EDF-Energy have now created a new direct debit & now combined both the gas & electricity bills as one payment, So its now harder to see what I am paying for & It was better when I paid for the separately 🙂

I have also been with N-Power, British Gas, & I Believe a 3rd Energy Supplier, Before EDF-Energy & Now settled with EDF-Energy 🙂

Member
GR says:
27 July 2011

I always shop around for energy prices, insurance etc and switch to ‘known’ brands that offer the best cash deal.

However, a few weeks ago we moved house to a ‘better’ area. House buildings and contents insurance cost dropped (thanks, Direct Line), motorcycle insurance stayed the same but car insurance (provided by Provident through Marks & Spencer) tried to raise our premium from a little over £350 to £530 and wanted an extra £130 for the remaining seven months.

Never in my life have I changed car insurance mid-term, as it always costs in penalties etc, but on this occasion I switched to Endsleigh who charged £320 for a fresh 12 month policy.

I fail to understand why a car insurance company risk assessor can decide that there’s a massive risk when motorcycle and house ones aren’t seeing the same problem.

Still haven’t received my refund ( of £79…) from M&S either as yet.

Member
pickle says:
27 July 2011

I’ve stuck with NatWest bank and Scottish and Southern simply because these rises are ‘swings and roundabouts’ The bank has an awful telephone service – first you get all the numbers to press and then you have a long wait before someone comes on line. I got round this by getting my local bank to make the call!. Complaining didn’t help…..
Car insurance – using the price comparison site I went for e-insurance as being relatively cheap and had an awful experience with them. Got out of that one and went for Saga in the end – seems as good as average.

Profile photo of Nikki Whiteman
Member

The most satisfying switch I ever did was on my home insurance. At the end of the year, the company I was with sent me a letter to say “thanks for using us for your home insurance, just for your information, your premium for the next year will be [double what you paid last year]. You don’t need to do anything, we’ll just keep taking payments from your account.”

It was very kind of them to tell me, but unless my house had suddenly doubled in value, or everyone on my street had taken up burglary as a hobby, there was no way that premium was justified. I went online, found a better provider who gave me the same cover for around half that price, and I also got £50 for switching. I emailed my previous provider explaining exactly why I was leaving them – it was extremely satisfying =)

Profile photo of julieshrive
Member

Too true . I have had my bank not protecting my interest . I have disabilities – also dyspraxia – numerical /technical dyslexia .They sold the Insurance company didn’t inform let underwriters defraud & have no way issue could be addressed as was even directing the no longer Managers not always there on site.. This is still happening . Then the new company doubled the premium after person in other car had run into me speeding whilst awaiting departure at kerb .The police refused to address too, I didn’t even know this had happened . The Underwriters named after former PM caused me to stay with them & a year later did not put up % of add on s but put on as never had . Then when one questioned put phone down. As for Financial Ombudsman they do not know what to do as seem to deliberately maladministrate compounding the matter.Apparently the firm they investigate pays them? Conflict of interest?

Member
Dunc Wooster says:
29 July 2011

I’ve switched various services including gas, electricity, broadband, car insurance, home insurance, breakdown insrance, every one of which has saved money.
I’ve also discontinued Sky TV in favour of freeview.
Incidentally I also saved money by discontinuing my subscription to Which?, although my motive was not money-saving but exasperation at the incompetence of Which? administrators who repeatedly messed up my subscription before accidentally cancelling it. I decided not to renew.

Profile photo of Martyn Hocking
Member

Hey Dunc – sorry to hear we have messed up your subscription. We’d love to have you back! I’ll be in touch with you directly to see if we can sort this out.

Profile photo of Martyn Hocking
Member

Back on the subject of switching, I have yet to find a better broadband deal from any of the big providers than the one I currently have with O2. I get broadband for £10 a month as long as I top up my PAYG mobile phone once every three months. The quality of the O2 network seems to be vastly superior to the Orange network I regularly find myself on the train with good coverage on my O2 connected iPhone and ‘no service’ on my Ornage ‘connected’ iPad.

Profile photo of scott1984_fp
Member

You might prefer O2/Telefonica’s sister/family company GiffGaff.Co.Uk for PAYG & It still runs on O2 mobile network,

But You’ll save loads 🙂

Member
robb192002 says:
31 July 2011

Old copper home phone line. Why its taken me so long I do not know. Mobile phone services are much more reliable and inexpensive now.

Member
Batlynn says:
17 August 2011

Whilst I agree that in theory shopping around for financial and utitlity products is a good idea it is almost impossible for me. Why? because I am Deaf and all the call centres and most online services in the world are to me a waste of space. None provide A) the facility to record that no landline telephones for voice telephone calls should be used. They automatically reject that land lines should be used for fax or sms messaging. B) none have any proper e- mailing information facility to clarify points – How do I add a protected no claims bonus to the system?, can I alert breakdown serves to call out using sms tex? etc etc. Result I spend three hours trying to shop around and am left with only marketing information about what I am paying for.
I did switch my broadband provider from Pipex to O2 last year. But it was only possible because the O2 staff member spent three hours on the phone to Pipex ( Now Talk Talk) sorting out the MAC code hassle. Having moved the O2 reception is fantastic and they did have a good e- mail response for my queries.
I have never moved my Electricity for their original supplier – Scottish Gas and Scottish Power. The latter is no bother whilst the former is useless – repeatedly sending grossly inflated estimated accounts for an empty flat I own. No proper internet access to correct of course which means I have to spend hours writing to them.
Some day I will start suing them for breaching disability discrimnination legislation!
The banks are just as bad. – despite online banking the number of complaints to Santander is a joke. ( never had one with Alliance and Leicester.)
So Martyn think yourself lucky you can switch because deaf people like me cannot.

Profile photo of crowsond
Member

Just this morning I had a re-newal notice from my car insurance providers telling me that ‘I need do nothing’ – except pay for next years premium. Uncomfortable about the premium I decided to follow your advice and think about switching. Just 10 minutes on the internet got me savings of over £150 on a like for like policy. When I told my current insurer that I was not renewing the immediately began to try to match my new premium – but even given their best efforts they failed to do so by £30. My concern is that insurance companies are using customer inertia to rack up excessive profits – a lesson learned!

Profile photo of b900222970
Member

Yes i’ve been a mug for the past years not swapping or comparing renewal prices, just paying them as it was easier, but recently my car insurance came in at £286 when last year it was under £200
So i looked around compared and ended up buying on line at £90 cheaper than my renewal. even though it was the same policy like for like and the same company who sent me my renewal.

So Six months ago I shopped around for new deal on gas and electric ended up with utility warehouse club amazing the more you have with them the cheaper it gets. So now i have my gas/electric/land line phone free calls 24/7/broadband unlimited/mobile phone 500 minutes free texts paying now £130 a month for the above when previously was paying to british gas £135 for just gas and electric. just had my bill for feb and it is down yet again £5 great!!