Shop around when you are shopping around

Consumers should use a variety of price comparison sites to get the best possible deals. This is according to research just published by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The research found that the comparison websites generally worked best for car insurance and worst for broadband. The CMA also said it was investigating one particular price comparison site (which it didn’t name) in relation to contracts that risked raising home insurance prices.
Andrea Coscelli, the CMA Chief Executive, said "The good news is that more than 90% of the people we surveyed were “very” or “fairly” satisfied with the sites they used. But we have also found that improvements are needed to help people get even better deals."
Price comparison websites often provide ‘best buy’ tables and automated switching services that do not charge a fee to consumers. Instead, companies often pay a fee of about £30 to a site for each new customer they gain.
The research report raised several issues including:
· Sites breaking equality laws by not doing all they can to make tools user-friendly for vulnerable people
· The need for more explanation on what happens to personal data
· Issues with the presentation of ‘excess’ amounts on insurance deals
Alex Neill from consumer group Which? said: "When shopping around via comparison websites or apps, consumers should be confident that they can find the best deal for them and that their personal data will be used responsibly. All regulators must ensure businesses abide by the rules and customers get good outcomes, or be ready to take action."

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