“Loyal customers of mobile phone and broadband operators, banks and insurers are being ripped off to the tune of £4bn a year – or as much as £877 per person – according to Citizens Advice, which has lodged a “super-complaint” with the competition watchdog.
The charity said customers who stayed with their utility providers were being unfairly overcharged and that measures must be taken to end “this systematic scam”.
Citizens Advice said its research across five sectors – mobile phones, broadband, home insurance, mortgages and savings – found British consumers were losing £4.1bn a year to the “loyalty penalty”: the difference between what existing and new customers pay for the same service. It added that eight in 10 people were paying a significantly higher price in at least one of these sectors for remaining with their supplier.
Using its legal powers, Citizens Advice has submitted its super-complaint – the fourth it has made since being given the right to do so in 2002 – to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which must respond within 90 days.
A consumer who was overcharged across all five markets faced a potential total penalty of £877, made up of £439 for a mortgage, £264 for a mobile phone contract, £113 for broadband, £48 for a cash Isa account and £13 for home insurance. …”