For the first time in years, fewer customers are switching service providers like utilities and telephone companies. But that doesn't mean we're getting the best deals for our money.
From banks to airlines to cell phone carriers, more Americans have been more loyal to their service providers lately. Last year, 64 percent of us switched at least one of our providers in categories like utilities, Internet providers, and wireless carriers – but that’s down 5 percent from 2009.
In fact, 2010 was the first year that service-switching dropped after rising for years, according to tech consulting company Accenture, which polled 5,800 consumers in 17 countries. Its “2010 Global Consumer Research Survey” [PDF] asked about brand loyalty to services ranging from cable TV to airlines to life insurance. It found…
- The drop in switching customers doesn’t mean we’re necessarily pleased with our bank tellers and flight attendants: “On the contrary, satisfaction with customer service has decreased since 2009 in each of 11 characteristics measured – from having customer service available at convenient times to accessing service through multiple channels. Additionally, consumers continue to have higher expectations for customer service.”
- Price isn’t everything: “More than half of global consumers (54 percent) are not willing to compromise on levels of customer service, product options, product quality and frequency of communications with companies in exchange for lower prices. Additionally, the percentage of consumers who identified price as the reason for selecting a new provider declined from 75 percent in 2009 to 57 percent in 2010.”
Here at Money Talks News, however, saving money is still pretty darn important. So if you’re unhappy enough with any of your service providers to consider switching, these are the top posts we suggest you read first to be sure you get your money’s worth…
- Airlines: Airfares Take Off – 6 Tips to Land Savings
- Banks: Hate Your Bank? 3 Steps to Ditch ‘Em
- Cable: You Don’t Have to Pay for Cable TV
- Cell phone: 5 Tips to Avoid “Cell Phone Bill Shock”
- Utilities (air conditioning): 13 Cool Tips to Lower Energy Bills
- Utilities (heating): 7 Tips to Conserve Heat and Money This Winter