Do you regularly switch energy supplier, bank or mobile provider? Or are you held back? Here’s Nick Boles MP on why the Government’s working to improve switching.
Let’s face it, switching suppliers is often a nightmare.
I recently tried to switch gas and electricity suppliers. I went onto a price comparison website and found a new supplier who it appeared would save me hundreds of pounds a year. I was told I’d hear from them within a few days. But months later, I hadn’t heard a dicky bird and was still paying over the odds for my heating and light.
I then had to go through the whole process again. Only this time, thanks to the persistence of someone at the website’s call centre, it finally worked.
Six switching principles
Everyone has a horror story to tell of trying to change banks or mobile phone provider. Only a few lucky people can relate great examples of this working just as they’re meant to.
The Government wants to make switching easier for everyone, so we’ve come up with six basic principles which we think all industries and suppliers should adopt. These are:
- It should be free, unless you’re aware of and have consented to fair charges
- It should be quick
- You should only have to deal with the new company
- You should be able to access your data
- Comparison tools should be transparent if they receive payments from suppliers
- There should be an effective process for when things go wrong
I’d love to hear your switching stories, positive and negative, and have you tell us what you think about our switching principles. We also have a short survey open until 4 December – your views will help us making switching better.
If you’ve switched before, was it quick and easy for you? If you haven’t, what’s stopping you?
This is a guest contribution by Consumer Minister Nick Boles MP. All opinions are Nick’s own, not necessarily those of Which?