One third of consumers overcharged for home essentials

One third of consumers claim to have been overcharged for at least one of their household essentials last year.

Research from independent price comparison and switching service Switcher.ie suggests that Irish households may have been overcharged by millions of euro last year.

The average amount overcharged was €53 and consumers also on average had to wait over five weeks to get their money back.

Home phone customers had to wait an even longer 6.5 weeks to get their money back, while electricity and broadband customers typically had to wait five weeks on average.

Household suppliers also varied significantly in their ability to turn a refund around within a week of being alerted to overcharging.

Broadband companies were found to be the least responsive, with just one in nine customers (11%) receiving a refund within a week, compared to a quarter (23%) of electricity customers. However, the report said that some of these delays could be down to refunds being included in the next billing cycle.

More than one third said they were not sure if they had been overcharged or not in the last year, while over half of energy (57%), broadband (53%) and mobile phone (51%) customers admit to simply trusting their suppliers to get their bills right.


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