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Loyalty to energy, broadband and insurance providers could be costing you hundreds of pounds a year

Man holds an invoice of electric power usage, as Which? survey reveals people could be missing out on savings on services like breakdown cover and broadband. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Man holds an invoice of electric power usage, as Which? survey reveals people could be missing out on savings on services like breakdown cover and broadband. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Customers could be paying a “price for loyalty” to providers of services like energy, telecoms and insurance – amounting to hundreds of pounds a year.

Consumer group Which? made the calculations by comparing energy prices and from average savings of people who had haggled with their providers over the past 12 months.

Its survey found that, while there are savings to be made, many are reluctant to press for a better deal.

Of the 2,000 people polled, two fifths (42%) had not haggled with any service provider Which? asked about in the last year, with mobile phone contracts, broadband and car breakdown cover the things people were least likely to ask for a discount on.

But the benefits of haggling were highlighted by broadband and pay TV customers, nine in 10 (86%) of whom got a discount or incentive when they asked for a better deal.

Those on a standalone broadband package saved an average of £120 a year, while those with combined broadband and pay TV services saved £216 annually.

Three-quarters (77%) of mobile phone users who haggled secured a better deal – and an average saving of £72 a year.

People who pushed for a better deal on home, car and car breakdown insurance policies made a total average saving of £125 in a year.

Nearly a third (31%) of people have stuck with the same energy supplier for more than 10 years, Which? found.

But its research, which comes at a time when households are facing pressure from rising living costs, suggests that by switching gas and electricity provider, consumers on a standard variable tariff could save up to £312 a year.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, said: “People who stay with the same energy, telecoms or insurance company year after year rarely get the best deal.

“Customers paying the price for loyalty should ask their providers to reward them, or be prepared to lose them.”

Here are how the annual savings from haggling could add up, according to Which?:

Car breakdown cover, £35

Home insurance, £40

Car insurance, £50

Mobile phone service, £72

Standalone broadband, £120

Broadband and pay TV, £216

Energy, £312

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