Companies Relying on Customer Inertia

Written by Karen Bryan

I recently received the renewal letter for our SSE central heating cover, which includes an annual boiler service and breakdown cover, with zero excess payable on call outs.

I was astounded that the price had increased from £19 to almost £22 a month. We hadn’t had any breakdown calls outs over the 12 month period

That £3 increase in price for our central heating cover equated to a percentage increase of 15%. That’s ridiculous when the rate of UK inflation is under 3%, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

I went online to get a quote for central heating cover from British Gas. It’s always a good idea to get a price from a least one competitor when phoning up to request a discount on a renewal price. British Gas offered the first month free to new customers, bringing the price down to around £19 a month, what I had been paying for the SSE central heating cover the previous year.

Very quickly after being connected to an SSE customer service rep, I was offered a price of 30p per month less than I had paid the previous year. If I just accepted SSE’s renewal price, I’d have paid another £36 a year for the central heating cover.

While £36 a year isn’t exactly a fortune, it illustrates that it is well worth spending a bit of time to do some price research and then contacting your current supplier to ask for a discount.

I’ve had similar experience with other companies including car and home insurance and mobile phone contracts. If you can achieve a saving with several companies, then the combined savings can mount up to hundreds of pounds per year.