Price comparison websites - Data sharing policies
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When you use a price comparison website, you are agreeing that your information will be passed over to the company whose services you wish to purchase. Check to see precisely what these data-sharing policies are before you enter any information into a price-comparison website.
Unless you are happy to be contacted by other firms, make sure you decline to share your personal information with third parties. There is likely to be a tick box that you either select or deselect that will allow you to do this.You should know
- Price comparison websites are not always covered by an ombudsman, but the services you buy via them often are
- Only energy switching has a set of service standards; look out for the Ofgem Confidence Code
- If you have an issue with the service you are moving to, you should raise the issue with this firm
- If you have had a poor experience, you should also contact the price comparison company as they need to be aware if firms they deal with are delivering a poor customer service
- Your switch is unlikely to be completed on the price comparison website; instead they will pass you over to the company you are moving to
- The switching website will earn a commission for the company and is therefore under an obligation to ensure the information it provides is accurate.
Issues with switching websites
If you have a complaint about your switching process, you should raise the issue with either the company you are being switched from or switched to. If you feel that you have been mis-sold by the price comparison website then you should raise your concerns with both the price comparison website as well as the company you have bought the service from.
If there is information missing
If there is information missing from the service or product that you purchase, raise your concern with the price comparison website. If the omission is caused by the price comparison website, you should explain your loss or concern.
If the issue is caused by the fact the company that is delivering the service did not deliver the information to the site, then raise the concern with the company that is delivering the service.
Is your information correct?
Any quotation that you have been given will be based on the information you have provided. If anything is incorrect, or if anything to do with your personal circumstance changes, you should inform the company immediately.
Are you locked into a contract?
Remember; before you switch, ensure you are not locked into the contract. Contracts can often have lock-in periods, especially for energy and telecoms. If you decide to switch during your locked-in period, you may have to pay a penalty to leave the contract. We recommend that you contact your provider before you complete the switch.
If you have already switched, you may have the right to cancel the switch process within the first 14 days. For an energy switch, this is seven days.
More than 250,000 consumers switch energy provider per month, and it is generally a quick, simple and easy process. You should look to switch energy provider through an Ofgem-accredited site. These operate in accordance with the Ofgem Confidence Code. Confidence Code – Code of Practice
What documents you will need
In order to switch, you will need your current tariff, how much you pay and how much you use. Also, when you agree to switch, take down meter readings as you will need to provide these.
If you have a problem
Complain to either the company you are moving from if the switch failed or to the company you are moving to if there was a problem with the switch process. If your issue is not resolved after eight weeks, you can take your case to the Energy Ombudsman (Ombudsman Services) and resolver will remind you what to do and when.
Switching broadband, phones
Once you decide you want to switch broadband or mobile phone provider you may need to ask your internet provider for a MAC code. Not all providers require this code in order to complete the switch. This should be clearly explained to you when you agree to switch.
If you do require a MAC code, it consists of four letters followed by between seven and nine numbers, a slash, and five alphanumeric characters (e.g. LAEM1234567/1F6HT). Your existing ISP must provide the MAC to you within five working days and it’s valid for a period of 30 days. You should then present the MAC to the company you want to switch to. It will then process the request to migrate and inform you of the transfer date.
The service should then be transferred seamlessly and with little or no disruption of service.
If you are changing mobile provider you are able to keep your mobile phone number. You will need to get a PAC code from current mobile provider, which they will have to provide you within two days. Give this to the new mobile provider. Your new mobile phone provider will provide you with a temporary phone number whilst your phone is moved over. You should not lose service while this happens.
If you have a problem
Complain to either the company you are moving from if the switch failed, or to the company you are moving to if there was a problem with the switch process. If your issue is not resolved after eight weeks, you can then take your case to the telecoms ombudsman (Ombudsman Services or CISAS depending on the company) and resolver will remind you what to do and knows automatically which ombudsman to take your case to.
New insurance product
If you have chosen a new insurance product then you will need to ensure you provide all the required information, correct to the best of your knowledge.
Switching financial products
If you are switching your current account then you are covered by the current account switch guarantee. The guarantee should include:
- Switch is free and the bank you are moving to should agree a date to switch service with you
- They will also switch over all debits from your account as well as ensure all incoming monies are moved over to your account
- Any money in your old account should also be moved over
- If there are any issues they should proactively contact you and any charges or interest lost will be repaid to you
If you have a problem
Complain to either the company you are moving from if the switch failed or to the company you are moving to if there was a problem with the switch process. If your issue is not resolved then after 8 weeks you can take your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
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