In a survey of more than 1,300 people, 57% were overcharged at least once, 26% were overcharged two or more times, and 13% didn’t get their money back.
On average consumers were overcharged by £229 and had to wait almost 2 months to get their money back, with 12% still trying to get the issue resolved. The vast majority (95%) of those who have been overcharged in the last year spotted it themselves.
What’s more, the survey found that people spent an average of 6 hours and an estimated £22 on phone calls and correspondence trying to sort out overcharging – just 7% were automatically refunded these costs by the company involved.
What we say
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch says: “There has been an epidemic of overcharging on household bills in the last year and yet we are still potentially looking at the tip of an iceberg.
“It seems to be down to consumers to spot where they havebeen overcharged and, with some household bills being so complicated, more instances will undoubtedly have slipped through the net.
“What this does tell us though is that people must look at their bills and not take it for granted that a company has got its sums right. I would also urge companies to do right by their customers too and to ensure that their bills are simple, clear and easy to understand.
“With 95% of overcharging spotted by customers rather than the bill provider, it’s imperative that consumers are able to spot and resolve any mistakes quickly.”
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