News & Events

Loyal consumers are being ripped off to the tune of £4.1 billion

On 27 September, we did something we haven’t done in 7 years. One of the last times we did it, we saved people £32 billion.

We used our statutory powers to issue a super-complaint to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) because our evidence shows people are paying too much for mobile, broadband, home insurance, savings and mortgage bills because they’re loyal to their providers. Here are 3 things you need to know about what, how and why we did this.

1. We made this super-complaint because people are being ripped off

Our research shows people who are loyal to their providers lose out on over £4 billion a year. We also know that it’s vulnerable people, such as those who are older or have mental health problems, who are the most impacted.

It is, in effect, a systematic scam. Nobody would choose to pay these extortionate sums — companies charge these prices solely in the hope that people won’t notice.

2. We want this widespread scam to end

Our campaigning has helped protect loyal consumers in the energy market — as the upcoming cap will save loyal consumers an average of £75 a year. Now we want to curb these penalties in other markets, particularly for the most vulnerable.

By submitting this complaint, we’re asking the CMA to investigate all markets where the loyalty penalty exists. Consumers should still shop around, but they shouldn’t be punished this badly if they don’t. We want the CMA to find real, practical solutions to this problem.

3. Super-complaints work — our most successful one led to more than £30 billion being returned to consumers

This is the fourth super-complaint we’ve made since being given the power to do so in 2002. Every super-complaint we’ve made has led to positive changes for people.

The one you’ll probably be most familiar with was in 2005, when we raised the red flag on the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI). This led to £32.2 billion being returned in refunds and compensation so far.

We don’t make them often. Only when we’re confident something’s wrong and badly needs to change.

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