Comparison websites aren't keeping us satisfiedWhich? finds poor service from comparison websites

18 November 2009

Compare the market

Price comparison sites are bombarding our homes with advertising

UK consumers are not happy with the levels of service they receive from price comparison sites, according to new research by Which? Money.

In its first ever , Which? Money found that these websites have the lowest average customer score of any financial sector it has surveyed, with no comparison site scoring higher than 50% ( At the bottom was, with just 37%.

People expressed a lack of trust in comparison sites. Less than a third said they trust them to find the best price available, while more than two thirds thought they would be presented with products that make the websites most commission. A lack of trust was also a key reason among those who chose not to use comparison websites (21%). 

Cheapest quotes

A quarter of people said they'd found a cheaper quote elsewhere, and 12% said they were unhappy with the quotes they got. Even after searching for products on comparison sites, more than half said they preferred to buy directly from the provider.

When a Which? expert rated the sites on a number of factors - such as ease of use, presentation, help text and information about the excess - no one site was clearly the best, and all had aspects which could be improved. 

Issues of particular concern included the often quite high voluntary excess set by some sites. These voluntary excesses were often combined with the insurer's compulsory excess on the results page, making it hard for customers to make comparisons between sites and find the best policy to suit their needs.

The most popular sites in survey were Moneysupermarket (used by 36%), Confused (30%) and Gocompare (16%). Car insurance, home insurance and savings accounts were the most searched for products on the comparison sites. 

Which? Best Buys

James Daley, Editor of Which? Money, said: 'If you're shopping around for a good deal, it makes sense to go to more than one site and be aware some companies aren't featured. Watch out for things like voluntary excess, and make sure the policy you're offered is what you actually want'. 

Use our car insurance, and insurance Best Buys to help you find the best deal.

pound coins

Which? Money when you need it

You can follow @WhichMoney on Twitter to keep up-to-date with our Best Rates and Recommended Provider product and service reviews.

Sign up for the latest money news, best rates and recommended providers in your newsletter every Friday.

Or for money-saving tips, and news of how what's going on in the world of finance affects you, join Melanie Dowding and James Daley for the Which? Money weekly money podcast

For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. And to find out how we work for you on money issues, visit our personal finance campaigns pages.