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Time to end unfair sneaky fees and charges which simply confuse and mislead us

Simon Read
Endsleigh primary V1 600 378 300x189 Time to end unfair sneaky fees and charges which simply confuse and mislead us

Endsleigh Insurance tripled the cost of its cancellation fee, says Which?

Have you been charged a fee when you’ve taken out a mortgage or insurance recently? Did you think it was fair?

Two-thirds of those who have had to stump up reckon companies use separate fees or charges to trick people into thinking that the cost of their product or service is lower than it is.

Two thirds also think that companies make financial fees and charges more complicated than they need to be in order to confuse customers, according to research by Which? The consumer group has launched a campaign to fight back against sneaky charges.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd said: “We’re fed up with being hit with unexpected, additional costs for financial products that lead to us paying more than we bargained for.

“We want the financial services industry to put an end to excessive, unclear and hard to compare fees that do nothing to improve the low level of trust in these markets.”

Its investigators discovered several examples of increased administration or cancellation charges among car insurers, for instance.

Endsleigh’s charge tripled to £75, a 200 per cent increase, while Churchill and Privilege doubled theirs, Which? said. Meanwhile six companies – Churchill, LV, More Than, Nationwide, Privilege and Saga – have increased fees by at least half to make changes to a policy, such as getting married, changing job or moving home.

The consumer group said it’s time financial firms stopped hiding the full cost from customers. It said fees that are part of the total cost of a product should be prominently and clearly displayed. It also called on firms to stop making it hard to compare prices and stop stinging customers with rip off additional charges.

“We also want the Government to conduct a review of financial fees and charges across the board to make sure that the price you see is always the price you pay,” said Mr Lloyd.

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