Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

Comparison websites ‘aren’t trusted’

Consumers lack trust in comparison websites with one in four people saying they have been able to find better value financial products elsewhere, a survey showed yesterday.

Only three out of 10 people said they trusted the sites, which give quotes on products such as insurance, credit cards and mortgages, to find the best price available for them, according to Which? Money.

Two-thirds of those questioned also thought they would be presented with the products that would make the websites the most money through commission.

One in four people said they did not buy through the websites because they had been able to find a cheaper quote for a product themselves, while 12% said they had been unhappy with the quotes the sites had generated for them. Even after using comparison sites to search for quotes more than half of people said they had bought the product they were interested in directly from the provider.

Overall, the survey found that none of the comparison sites scored a customer satisfaction rating of more than 50%, lower than for any other financial product or service the group looks at, including current accounts, mortgages and credit cards.

The most popular sites were moneysupermarket.com, confused.com and gocompare.com, with car insurance, home insurance and savings accounts the products that people were most likely to search for through the sites.

James Daley, editor of Which? Money, said: “We found that using financial comparison sites is clearly not a happy experience for many — all the sites in our survey got low customer scores.

“If you're shopping around for a good deal it makes sense to go to more than one site and be aware that some companies aren't featured.”

Hayley Parsons, chief executive of Gocompare.com, said: “We take on board the views expressed by Which?.

“However, the research was carried out amongst Which? readers only and this does raise the question of just how representative the findings can be.”

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