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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

uSwitch and Comparator Websites

I’m getting more and more fed up by the mass media reporting of uSwitch and other comparator site surveys. I think all these surveys should carry a huge health warning:
“The only purpose of this survey and the company who financed it is to get you to change suppliers and earn a profit for the financiers of the survey”.
These surveys are so biased as to be unbelievable and do not deserve any free publicity. If uSwitch want to advertise they should do like the rest of the internet sites.

If the surveys were run by YouGov and financed by Tory party and ran questions such as “How many people are dissatisfied with the current government?” They would be laughed at by the media and given zero exposure.

I’m not even going to give the company any more oxygen by mentioning the results of its latest survey, but suffice to say one of one companies who regularly come bottom for customer service in broadband, also is one of the heaviest advertisers when it comes to mobile phone contracts.

In fact, it is ridiculous that uSwitch on page after page of offers in the mobile area show e2save, OneStopPhoneShop, ThePhoneSpot and Carphone Warehouse offers – the customer presumably thinks they are being given choice of suppliers, when in fact they are one and the same company.

As uSwitch themselves explain:
uSwitch.com has agreed deals with some suppliers across all our services to receive a small commission payment when a customer chooses to switch or apply for a product through us.
The business model is one of harvesting of lead generation for companies which is incredibly profitable not only because of the inherent low costs of the internet, but also but the fact that the site awareness is generated by negative publicity on industries spread in the mass media for free.