Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at uSwitch.com, comments: “It is reassuring to see regulators tightening up the package of consumer rights across industries. As long as markets are encouraged to be as competitive as possible, driving better prices and improved services, these are positive steps for consumers.
“Long-serving customers who have fallen out of contract should not be bamboozled into thinking they are unable to leave their existing provider, or that it will be difficult, costly or time consuming to do so.
“It is therefore especially welcome that the CMA is setting specific expectations on business practices. Companies should never be misleading, it should be easy to exit contracts, and contractual tricks such as default auto-renewals into fixed terms should not be used to keep customers locked in.
“It is important that the work of the relevant regulators is allowed to be completed before taking wider steps which may result in unintended consequences, such as higher prices or reduced competition.
“The most effective solution is to put measures in place that will stamp out confusion and empower consumers to vote with their feet.”
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Launched in September 2000, uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, broadband, TV services, mobiles and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, car and home insurance. Last year we saved UK consumers over £278 million on their energy bills alone.
Customers can sign up to an account that automatically monitors the energy market and notifies them when they can move to a cheaper tariff, while broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and identify the best deal for their postcode.
The multi award-winning 'Switching Made Simple' app allows customers to compare energy, broadband, credit card, mobile and SIM-only deals – and uSwitch also has a UK contact centre manned by energy and broadband experts. Customers can post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH to receive a free call back and be guided through the comparison process, or they can email email@example.com with their postcode and usage details.
uSwitch is owned by ZPG, which operates some of the UK’s most trusted digital brands that help empower smarter property and household decisions including Zoopla, Money, PrimeLocation and SmartNewHomes.
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