Friday, 26 November 2010

Usual Suspects Bottom Out EU Consumer Scoreboard

You may wonder why a blog focused on how we seize control of our consumer experiences devotes so much space to our frustration in the personal finance space.

Because, as the latest edition of the EC's Consumer Markets Scoreboard confirms, it's our biggest source of angst.

Bank current accounts and credit products, investments, pensions and securities all feature in the bottom 20% of the "Market Performance Indicator", with investments, pensions and securities coming in lucky last.

Real estate services, internet service provision and railways also get a pasting; as well as secondhand cars, clothing and footwear, meat, and house maintenance/ improvement goods.

An incredible 31% of consumers find it fairly easy to compare investments, although only 34% of consumers think they deliver what's promised. A naive 26% of us are as likely to trust investment providers as used car salesmen.

Yet 76% of us don't bother to switch providers...

As a result, until the usual suspects get their act together, we face an endless stream of edicts emanating from the Brussels bureaucrats, adding more and more to the complexity for both providers and consumers alike. A great deal more proactive work in this area by providers may help stem this tide. Switching providers might also help.

In the meantime, internet service providers and the "meat market" can also expect the joy of EC market study questionnaires.

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