Consumer: Comparison sites are accused over calls

Claims comparison websites are directing callers to energy tariffs.
Claims comparison websites are directing callers to energy tariffs.
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The “big five” comparison websites are directing callers to energy tariffs that earn them commission despite being asked for the cheapest deal - months after they faced allegations that they used similar tactics online, it has been claimed.

Collective switching website The Big Deal has released recordings and transcripts in which it claims that all five of the biggest comparison sites - uSwitch, Go Compare, MoneySuperMarket, Compare the Market and Confused.com - failed to mention deals that did not pay them a commission.

In the case of uSwitch, the difference between what it claimed was the cheapest deal and the actual lowest tariff was £60, The Big Deal said.

USwitch said it was taking the allegations “extremely seriously”.

In October last year The Big Deal alleged that comparison sites were filtering out the tariffs which do not pay commission.

But The Big Deal co-founder Will Hodson said its latest investigation showed the sites were “behaving as badly over the phone as they are online”.

MoneySuperMarket, Compare the Market and Confused all claimed a deal from Green Star Energy for gas only was the cheapest when there was another tariff that was £11 less expensive, The Big Deal said.

It claimed all the cheaper deals that were not mentioned to callers were from companies that did not pay the websites a commission.

Ofgem launched a consultation on the code governing the sector in August, with the newly revised rules announced last month.

Mr Hodson said: “Trust has been broken.

“Far from being consumer champions, switching sites are letting people down.”

MoneySuperMarket spokesman Stephen Murray said: “We completely deny the allegation that we lied to the customer.” A Compare the Market.com spokesman added: “We refute all claims that we misled the caller or offered an uncompetitive tariff.”

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