This week the BBC reported some concerning news about some of the most well-trusted price comparison websites, making smaller brokerage companies and independent comparative websites seem more and more appealing. The 5 companies in question for with-holding the best deals from their customers are uSwitch, Compare the Market, MoneySuperMarket, Go-Compare and Confused.com.
Allegedly, these price comparative websites are not showing the cheapest or most suited deals to customers. This is in favour of deals from the companies that they’re paid a commission for using, and thus are breaking the regulator’s code of practice by not providing a transparent service to their customers.
All 5 of the companies in question have designed their complex websites in a manner whereby the customer is required to check a minute box to tell the website they want to switch policies immediately. In doing so the customer is only shown the options that will result in a higher profit for the comparative website. Some of the comparative websites don’t even have a checkable box, meaning the customer is exposed to the inclinations of the profiting company as they are pressured to invest in certain policies only, without having a clear view of all the options available.
Furthermore, not even a month ago it was reported that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had introduced new measures to prevent price comparison websites and insurers from making agreements privately so that cheaper prices on their products could not be found elsewhere. This is all concerning news, and while stricter rules are only just beginning to be enforced on the vast comparative companies, it seems unwise to invest in any future purchases from the price comparison websites when we are yet to know what else they are hiding.
As you’d expect, all price comparative websites denied the claims yet Ofgem – the regulator for the code of practice that the websites adhere to – has stated it will go through a revamp of the code to expand and improve it. All of which suggests that there is cause for a crackdown on the secretive price comparative websites that currently dominate the market, hopefully opening up the public’s options to consider more local, reliable and friendly brokerage services.
Have a look at the Active Brokers website to find more reliable quotes for insurance policies.