Commenting on a new Citizens Advice report out today, which reveals that customers are losing out on over £4bn a year by staying loyal to companies, Ombudsman Services chief executive Matthew Vickers said:
"It's an unfortunate reality that staying loyal to your supplier can sometimes mean being left out of pocket, and this report highlights how important it is to shop around for the best deal. Indeed, the ‘loyalty penalty’ was one of the issued raised by Citizens Advice at a fringe event we held at the Labour conference earlier this week.
"This report emphasises how unfair the consumer landscape can be – and switching isn't the only issue. Our recent Ending Consumer Detriment report found that last year nearly £750bn worth of purchases were under-protected, leaving millions at risk of not being able to get their complaint resolved or their money back.
“In many sectors there are steps that consumers can take, such as checking the company they are buying from is part of a dispute resolution or ombudsman scheme, but the responsibility shouldn’t lie only with shoppers. We feel that more needs to be done across the board to protect consumers from markets that just aren't working well enough. Government, business, advocacy groups and ombudsmen must come together to ensure the consumer landscape is fair for all."