Seven out of ten consumers have been overcharged on their household bills at least once in the last year, new research has found.
With bills rising all the time and the cost of living on the increase, homeowners’ finances are already at breaking point.
Yet new research has found that 70% of Brits have been overcharged on bills in the last year, with a third being overcharged more than once.
The amounts that consumers were wrongly charged were by no means insignificant; the average amount customers were overcharged by was £196.
This is a lot of money to a struggling household, but the research found that consumers had to wait an average of two months to get the money back.
“Overcharging on household bills is rife and yet it still seems to be down to the customer to spot it,” said Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, which carried out the research.
“Consumers have to keep their wits about them and ensure that they check all their household bills carefully – if you are not checking then the chances are that a mistake will have slipped through and this could be costing you dear.”
The most common cause of overcharging is extra charges to a bill that shouldn’t have been added, with 42% of overcharged consumers citing this reason.
This is followed by consumers being put on the wrong tariff or product, and a special discount or offer not being applied to a bill.
“With 95% of overcharging spotted by customers rather than the bill provider, it’s imperative that people are able to spot and resolve any mistakes quickly – nobody can afford to be left out of pocket because a company didn’t quite get its sums right,” added Ms Robinson.