Published On: Sun, Jan 28th, 2018

Britons waste £7.5bn a year on unwanted charges | City & Business | Finance

A study by comparison site uSwitch found that consumers spend £4billion on unwanted charges including TV subscriptions, mobile phone contracts, insurance and other goods. 

Twelve million households are also paying £3.5billion more for their energy than they have to by staying on expensive standard variable tariffs, instead of opting for cheaper providers on the market. 

Research found that 42 per cent of people had financial or subscription-based products that they do not use and that on average, they cost each person £375.77 per year. 

Of the people uSwitch surveyed, 21 per cent said that they had unused TV subscriptions, 19 per cent mobile phone contracts, 16 per cent insurance policies and 7 per cent gym memberships.

Shona Eyre, uSwitch’s energy expert, explained that 60 per cent of households are on expensive standard variable tariffs (SVTs) and that they were missing out on average savings of £290 because of their failure to switch suppliers. 

“Often this is because people are concerned that switching could be complicated,” she said. 

“But in fact it’s very quick and simple and only requires a few details which you can find on your energy bill.” 

In order to boost switching rates, the site has teamed up with Countdown presenter Rachel Riley. 

It aims to get more than 50 per cent of UK households off expensive SVTs, typically offered by the big suppliers, by the end of 2020. 

She added: “If people don’t switch they’re letting energy suppliers off the hook. The more households who move off these expensive deals, the more energy companies feel the pressure to treat their customers well and offer good deals.”

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