National Audit Office says loyal customers are ripped off on bills

Loyal customers are paying at least £4.1billion a year more on household bills because of problems with watchdogs.

Official auditors warn today that loyal customers generally pay more than new ones for energy, telecoms and broadband, water, banking and insurance.

Their report questions the effectiveness of watchdogs and singled out the four main utility and finance regulators: Ofgem, Ofcom, Ofwat and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Loyal customers are paying at least £4.1bn a year more on bills because of ineffectiveness of regulators (stock photo) National Audit Office head Amyas Morse said regulators appear ‘detached from people’s practical concerns and pressures’ National Audit Office head Amyas Morse said regulators appear ‘detached from people’s practical concerns and pressures’

National Audit Office head Amyas Morse said regulators appear ‘detached from people’s practical concerns and pressures’

And because we know that the loyalty penalty tends to hit older customers and the less internet-savvy hardest, This is Money is also calling on our readers to help their friends and relatives.

Research from comparison website Ismybillfair? in December compared costs from the bills of more than 100,000 people who used the check and challenge website to the prices new customers were paying.

It claims loyal customers are paying up to £273 too much for broadband each year, more than £100 too much for breakdown cover and sim-only mobile deals. 

Figures from comparison website Energy Helpline show that a tenth of customers could save £458 from switching gas and electricity.

A number of household bills are set to rise at the start of April, meaning it is more important than ever to take stock and make sure you’re paying a fair price.

Not only are energy companies increasing prices in response to the Ofgem cap increase, a number of mobile phone providers are raising bills while telecoms firms hike costs for TV and broadband customers.

Meanwhile, council tax, TV licence costs and water bills rises are also set to bite.