Price comparison websites failing to deliver customer satisfaction
MoneyExtra.com, Google Compare, LoveMoney.com and uSwitch.com have come bottom of a new customer satisfaction survey conducted by consumer rights group Which?.
The survey said that customer satisfaction for price comparison websites as a whole is low compared to other personal finance sectors, with only a third (32%) of Which? members telling the organisation they trust price comparison sites to find the best price, regardless of the supplier.
More than 6,000 Which? members rated eleven of the biggest names in price comparison sites, placing MoneyExpert.com and MoneyFacts.com at the top of their list, with customer satisfaction scores of 46%. They were followed by CompareTheMarket.com (43%) and MoneySupermarket.com (42%).
At the other end of the table, MoneyExtra.com received a score of just 28%, while Google Compare rated 30%, LoveMoney.com got a score of 35% and uSwitch was received a score of 39%.
When comparing car insurance across ten comparison websites, the consumer rights group found that one scenario (insuring a 22-year-old driver living in a high-risk area) returned quotes at wildly different prices, with a difference of £1,500 between the cheapest and most expensive premiums.
GoCompare.com, TescoCompare.com and MoneySupermarket.com had the cheapest price at £751.25, while MoneyExpert.com produced the most expensive quote at £2,280.70.
The research also showed that MoneySupermarket.com has the most insurers, covering 120 insurers from an estimated 230 brands in the market; while LoveMoney.com and MoneyExpert.com cover just 10% of the market, by number of brands.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: "We've found that many people just don't trust comparison sites to get them the best deal and from the results of our research it looks like they are right to be sceptical.
"Price comparison sites claim to do all of the work for you but we found they don't always guarantee people the best deal, or even the right one.
"We want comparison sites to treat customers fairly by being upfront that they don't cover the whole market and more transparent about what is and isn't included in the policies they're selling."
How to use comparison sites
- Check more than one site, as we found you're likely to get a range of results.
- Remember that not all sites cover all insurers, and some companies won't be included as they choose not to be featured on comparison sites.
- Look out for pre-selected options and added extras, as the sites make assumptions and you may end up with quotes that don't reflect what you want.
- Consider value for money as well as price, as the cheapest deal may not provide you with the cover that you need.
- You don't have to buy through a price comparison site and could use the quotes provided to help negotiate a better deal with your current provider.