Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Consumer watch

Consumer watch

Switching fears

According to research by Switcher.ie, eight in 10 Irish consumers plan on switching at least one household service provider in the coming year, such as gas, electricity, broadband or TV. Many people are still fearful about the process, worried about being tied to contracts, whether they will actually save money, the switching process itself and other reasons.

But those who avoid switching could be missing out on hundreds in savings every year – Switcher.ie notes that the “average dual fuel customer” could potentially save up to €318.

“It is vital that consumers are educated and feel supported enough to be able to shop around and switch freely so that they can make better-informed choices about the suppliers and products that suit their needs and budgets,” said Eoin Clarke, MD of Switcher.ie.

Back to school A-Z

With the new school term just over the horizon, the next few weeks will be occupied by finding enough money to cope with book lists, new uniforms, ‘voluntary’ contributions and plenty more besides.

Conor Pope, Consumer Affairs Correspondent with The Irish Times, has devised an A-Z to keep in mind during the back to school period and beyond, from driving and book rentals to obesity and our native language.

“Is there any point in studying Irish if you don’t want to? Does a child planning to study electronic engineering or philosophy or Latin really need to get their head around the módh coinníollach and tuiseal ginideach before they are allowed to university?” he questions.

Effective complaints

Finally, if you’ve got an issue with an item or service purchased, are you complaining effectively? Writing in the Irish Independent this week Sinead Ryan outlines the various avenues of redress available to Irish consumers, from contacting the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to taking a Small Claim.

“We’re told we’re a nation of begrudgers and it’s true, we love nothing more than a bit of a gossip, especially if it’s bad news,” writes Sinead Ryan. “But when it comes to complaining properly about something we’re unhappy about, do we really know how to do it effectively or do we just want to have a rant?”

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When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.
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