The largest energy comparison site, uSwitch, have not only continued to hide the cheapest deals from consumers, but have been testing the button which hides those deals.
Since the publication of our research, exposing the Big 5 price comparison websites (Compare the Market, Go Compare, MoneySupermarket, uSwitch and Confused) hiding the cheapest deals, uSwitch have continued to hide the cheapest deals behind a button labelled "Show plans we can switch you to today?" This button allows uSwitch to hide tariffs they don't receive a commission from.
uSwitch has used this button to hide four out of the top five tariffs in recent weeks. This was the case on the 5th January, costing the average consumer between £17 and £18.
In the first week of January, both MoneySupermarket and Confused removed their buttons, but uSwitch have not. Instead, they recently began testing the wording of their button.
uSwitch were effectively testing which questions led consumers to click through to see just those deals which earn uSwitch a commission. They were testing which questions fooled consumers best.
By testing various questions simultaneously, uSwitch would learn how they could change the "Today button" without having to show consumers those deals which did not earn them a commission.
Wording of the various buttons (Screenshots below)
- Original button 20th October - Show plan we can switch you to today? Yes or No
- 10th December - Only show plans we can help you switch to? Yes or No
- 17th December - Your Results. Only show me plans uSwitch can switch me to or Show me the whole market
- 18th December - Filter out plans we can't help you switch to? Yes or No
- 19th January - Which plans would you like to see? Plans where uSwitch can help me through the switching process or All plans, including those from suppliers I'd need to contact myself
- 19th January - Your Results. Only show me plans uSwitch can me switch to or Show me the whole market
- Original button restored 20th January - Show plan we can switch you to today? Yes or No
uSwitch's original "Today button" - 20th October
uSwitch's testing of a new "Today button" - 10th December to 18th December
uSwitch's continued testing - 19th January
uSwitch restore the original "Today button" - 20th January