Market Research Finds Households Overcharged in Utilities Bills Last Year

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24th June 2013 11:37 - Utilities

The study, undertaken by uSwitch, shows that seven in ten households were overcharged by around £200 in household bills last year, with one third being overcharged on multiple occasions. Findings suggest that companies responsible for essential bills such as utilities, telecoms and mortgages may have overcharged by as much as £6.7 billion in the last year alone.

The report also states that over 9 in ten (95%) cases of overcharging were spotted by the customer; this only reiterates the importance of checking bills for mistakes.

Nearly half of the overcharges were due to incorrect charges, just under a third (32%) were down to the customer being placed on the incorrect tariff and a quarter (25%) because of special offers or discounts not being removed from the total.

Staggering findings show that more than one in ten people are still trying to resolve their overcharged accounts whilst 6% never received their money back.  Average call times to get money back are eight hours with costs of twenty three pounds.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, said:

“Consumers have to keep their wits about them and ensure that they check all their household bills carefully...I would urge companies to do as much as possible to help their customers by making household bills simpler, clearer and easier to understand." 

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