Loyalty comes at a price so when you find yourself in a long-term relationship with a large company, you need to ask yourself - are you really feeling the love? Often we're lured into signing up to longterm contracts with telco's, insurers and energy providers as a result of seemingly too-good-to-say-no discounts on offer for joining (e.g. free phone with 12 month mobile contract). However, the reality is that over time you're unlikely to be getting good value for money, otherwise these companies wouldn't be making profits.
Once you've repaid whatever discounted amount your provider initially gave you, companies hope that you'll become complacent and not change to another provider. Switching, however, is definitely an excellent way to save money. So in today's post I'll show you why you should consider doing this across a range of companies.
Saving Money on Mobile and Broadband Plans
Whistleout.com.au is a well known and trusted website with the consumer's interests at heart. Their research figures show that the average customer searches for a mobile phone plan with unlimited calls and texts and 3.2GB of data. Businesses like Vaya (using the Optus Network) charge as little as $34 per month for these sorts of allowances (and BYO devices). The equivalent package with either Optus or Telstra will cost $40 or $50 per month respectively.
The average broadband customer who uses 120GB per month and is provided with a free wireless router, will get the best money saving deal with TPG at just $39.99 per month. Meanwhile, dominant players in the market such as Optus charge $70 with Telstra charging $89 (albeit for slightly more data).
Saving Money on Insurance Providers
Unfortunately there is so much competition in this market and with so many insurance providers keeping their quotes close to their chest, it’s difficult to get a good understanding of who is the best value for money via one comparison website. This is primarily due to the fact that individual requirements for cover vary greatly amongst Australians. The best option for seeking out the right plan for you is dependent on a good old-fashioned Google search.
New entrants to the market such as You and Real have been offering very competitive prices recently along with the better known APIA for those of you over 50 years old. I suggest you take a look at these first if you're currently on the hunt for better insurance quotes.
Saving Money on Energy Providers
Loyalty rarely pays in the corporate world and one of the only exceptions exists within the energy retailers sector where they will usually give you an immediate discount when you ask for it. Gas and electricity provides generally re-price their products every year, which takes place at the beginning of the year in Victoria and mid-year in NSW. The only difference is that they will happily leave existing customers on the more expensive plans without changing them over to the cheaper rates automatically.
Research conducted by Energywatch.com.au found that the average four-member working family that switches in Bondi, NSW could save $220 on their annual electricity bill and $78 on their gas bill. That saving includes combining their Dodo with a no contract period so they can switch again anytime.
However if your household is with a standard Energy Australia plan, then you can ask for an upgrade to the latest money saving energy plan and receive an almost identical recuperation. So be sure to go ahead and ask. To receive an extra $100 discount you can apply for your new account through energywatch.com.au to get the instant rebate.
Looking at the research on the area of St Kilda as another example, residents there could save $440 on their electricity plan and $144 on their annual gas bill by combining with Red Energy.
EnergyWatch.com.au released the below table to show how residents of NSW could save money in other areas where they have probably been left by their provider on an older, more expensive plan.
Saving Money on Health Insurance
The most comprehensive comparison of health insurance in Australia can be found on PrivateHealth.gov.au, which reveals price-ranked policies. One example found when using this website was an affordable $422.90 per month plan that included family hospital and an extra policy with a medium level of cover in Victoria via GMF Health. This was a cheaper comparison to the average of $506.87 you could be paying that included a $600 excess.
Saving Money on Mortgage Lending
The average mortgage taken out across Australia has chased the skyrocketing property prices to a level of $377,600. The larger banks have been inflating rates whilst the smaller lenders have been cutting them to steal unhappy customers. Abandoning your loyalty from one of the banks means you could be pocketing an extra $380 per month and perhaps even a little bit more if you ask for a discount.
Ultimately, cheapest might not always be best, as this will be dependent largely on your individual circumstances. The point of this article though, is to highlight how important it is to run comparisons against what you're currently paying your telco/insurer/energy provider/lender as the potential savings that you could make are likely to be substantial.