Are your interests being served well by regulators?
The BBC website reports that regulators are advising consumers not just to switch providers often, but to further research by using multiple price comparison sites. (Source).
Is that really in our long term interests?
I see three main problems with the strategy the regulators have settled on as the solution to the problem of inertia profiteering.
Firstly, the comparison websites have to be paid for their work, that’s commission that is paid by consumers, increasing the overall costs of the industries involved.
Secondly, the companies are setting up new customers more often, and often having to do work to facilitate the transfer of business from them. That too has a cost that must be paid by consumers.
Finally, it creates customer bases for the companies that are puched into being disloyal, to view the insurance, or energy, or holiday as a commodity where only price matters. That works both ways and the companies have little benefit in differential service if the only deciding factor from us is price.
As underlying costs rise and the level of service falls, we surely have to ask how that can be in the interests of consumers?