In Ireland, we previously shared a common and bizarre behaviour of loyalty to our service providers. Largely down to being creatures of habit, lack of knowledge and a slight touch of laziness; we were staying with the same companies for our electricity, tv, phone etc – even though we could likely be making great savings if we shopped around and made some moves.
Thankfully, recent studies show that the idea of loyalty to institutions continues to decline in Ireland, with more and more of us availing of better deals on a range of services, including our phone, broadband and tv. However, there still continues to be a perceived barrier for a lot us – some believing that the service won’t be the same, or that switching is a large hassle. Let me tell you – it’s no hassle and there has been no difference in quality of services. Another common behaviour is that we may change providers one year, but then forget to look around and move the next year. Simple tip here is to add a reminder to your phone for 11 months after you enter into any new contract.
In our household, we have made huge savings by switching providers across a number of services, and though we may not make the same savings each year, we sure as hell are going to look around and try!
Here are the savings we made by reviewing & comparing and then switching or changing:
- €180 a year saved by switching Electricity Providers (from Airtricity to Bord Gais)
- €192 a year saved by dropping packages that we weren’t using (HD & Box Sets) from our Sky TV Subscription
- €354 a year saved on Vodafone Broadband, simply by calling up and asking why the online only/new user offers weren’t available to existing loyal customers (6 months free, and lower monthly rate)
- €276 a year saved by switching to a more suitable Mobile Phone plan for one of us (switched to SIM Only plan)
- €186 a year saved by switching Waste Collection Providers, and also opting for a smaller Waste Bin as we recycle and compost more than we waste (from Oxigen to AES)
- €192 a year saved by setting the cover on a Life Insurance policy to a more suitable value
Altogether, this is a total of €1380 a year! Not one of these changes has had any sort of negative impact on our lives, we have not had to go without and the quality of services remains the same. To put this in perspective, this would be (at least) a €3000 Salary increase by the time the taxman gets his hands on it. This is simply by reviewing current policies, and seeing if there are better offers out there.
You can do it too!!
Take a look at the below list of services, and ask yourself 3 things:
- Have I looked at switching my provider for this service in the last year?
- Could I make savings if I switched?
- Do I know how to go about switching?
|🚗Car Insurance||💡Electricity Supply Service|
|📱Mobile Phone Provider||🛒Grocery Shop|
|📺TV Service Provider||🌍Broadband/Internet Access Provider|
|💪Gym Membership||📞Fixed Line Telephone Provider|
|🏠Home Insurance Provider||😷Health Insurance Provider|
|🔥Gas Supply Service||🏦Bank/Financial Institution|
|👫Life Insurance||🚛Waste Provider|
|💳Credit Card Provider||💸Savings/Investment Provider|
|🏡Mortgage Provider||💶Credit/Loan Provider|
You could even go a step further and really think about whether you need all of the services that you are paying for. Do you really avail of the gym membership, or could you look at alternative and cheaper ways of exercising? Is your Health Insurance plan relevant to your needs, or could a cheaper plan suffice? Are you using the max data/minutes/text allowance of your monthly mobile phone plan or could a cheaper plan work for you?
Of course, along with switching providers, you can also see if loyalty is rewarded by your current company at renewal time. Very often if your contract is up for renewal, they will offer a discount to keep you as a customer.
The below sites offer a wealth of information for comparing and switching providers, allowing you find the best deal:
ComReg also offer additional impartial advice for switching providers for Internet, Home & Mobile Phone, in their Consumer Information section:
Check out your monthly bills, see if you can make savings! Let me know how you get on, or let me know if you’ve switched something else that’s given you a great saving!