Energy switching sites sometimes hide the cheapest tariffs, but we don't.
We've made this statement in response to the claim today from collective switch outlet The Big Deal that comparison sites hide tariffs, and we wanted to clear a few things up.
The site has written an open letter to the firms involved asking them to stop this activity, but it has bizarrely named Martin Lewis of MoneySupermarket (sic). It is well known that Martin Lewis is the editor in chief of MoneySavingExpert.com and has no role at MoneySupermarket.com.
MoneySavingExpert.com's Cheap Energy Club has 1.2 million members and has always automatically listed every tariff available by default. But The Big Deal's press release had no information about MoneySavingExpert.com in it.
The Big Deal says five comparison sites – Compare the Market, Go Compare, uSwitch, MoneySupermarket and Confused – use a mechanism to hide deals by asking users if they want to see deals they can switch to "today" or "now".
Clicking "Yes" filters out all deals which do not earn the price comparison site a commission from the energy company – often these deals are the cheapest says the Big Deal.
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'We default to ALL tariffs'
Martin Lewis, MoneySavingExpert.com creator, says: "It is nice to see the issue raised and it is something I have noted consumers should be careful about in my programmes for many years – I just wish it hadn't incorrectly named me as being part of the wrong site and thus casting aspersions that way.
"When we built the Cheap Energy Club in 2013 I made sure that we defaulted to all tariffs – so people get to see all options. I think that's something that saves our 1.2 million Cheap Energy Club users a decent whack of cash.
"Ultimately the problem here is that the Ofgem Confidence Code allows this to happen – that's where the focus of change should be."
Here's exactly how our Cheap Energy Club works:
- Cheap Energy Club automatically shows ALL deals on the market – regardless of any commercial relationship and has links to all suppliers even if we can't switch you. We believe this is unique.
- If Cheap Energy Club can switch you, it gets paid by the energy supplier and pays a chunk of that back to the user as cashback. It offers users the ability to 'filter out deals that don't give cashback', ie, where the supplier does not pay it. This setting is preset to 'no', so the default is you see everything.
- You see full market results as soon as you've filled in the form and hit 'let us do our stuff' except if you've clicked on one of our special top pick fixes links because you've chosen to see our top picks based on our editorial judgment (again, we include tariffs that pay us and those that don't). And from there you can click a tab directly to see all tariffs.
Join our free Cheap Energy Club to see if you can switch and save.
You can listen to Martin Lewis talking about today's news on Radio 5 live's consumer panel podcast.