We spent 13 weeks looking at price comparison websites. We've got over 200 screenshots. You won't like what we found. That's why we've written to the sites themselves and asked politicians to act and the CMA, Energy Select Committee and EU Competition Commission to investigate.
- All the major price comparison websites hid the cheapest deal from customers. Many for weeks on end.
- uSwitch, the largest energy switching website, never showed the cheapest deal. It regularly hid three out of the top five cheapest deals.
- Every site uses a mechanism to hide deals where they ask users if they want to see deals they can switch to "today" or "now".
- Clicking "Yes" filters out all deals which do not earn the price comparison site a commission from the energy company. Often these deals are the cheapest.
- Money Supermarket and Confused pre-fill this question "Yes".
- Compare the Market and Go Compare automatically show users the results without even asking this question. You have to go through several screens to "filter your results" to see the cheapest deals.
- Overall price comparison sites hid almost a third of deals from customers via this method.
We also believe that this research shows that these sites may be breaking EU consumer protection law. We've written to the five biggest sites - Compare the Market, Go Compare, uSwitch, MoneySupermarket and Confused - asking that they stop this activity. We've also asked Government to take action, the Competition and Markets Authority to expand their inquiry into the energy market to include these sites and the EU Competition Commission to investigate their actions.
SEE PDF DOWNLOADS OF OUR LETTER AND OUR RESEARCH BELOW
Open letter to the big five price comparison websites - Compare the Market, Go Compare, uSwitch, MoneySupermarket and Confused*
Screenshots and tables of big five price comparison websites - September 2015
Screenshots and tables of big five price comparison websites - October 2015
*The letter to price comparison sites has been updated. We have removed the reference to Martin Lewis and MoneySupermarket. Martin Lewis has no day to day control over MoneySupermarket. We apologise for our error.