Price comparison sites using shady tactics to make you buy

Published:  25 Jul at 6 PM
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Tagged: Life Insurance
Expat online shoppers are being warned to watch out for online shopping tricks on price comparison websites.

Almost all expats, wherever in the world they’re located, find themselves using online sites to order items they can’t find in their host countries. Whether it’s foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, comfortable clothes or shoes in expat sizes or the latest in technology at the best price, online shopping is a way of life in the 21st century.

Other favourite online purchases include health and life insurance, and offshore savings accounts and even financial advice are on the web in such quantities that price comparison sites seem to make good sense. However, online shoppers will be shocked to discover the shady tricks used by some sites to make browsing customers buy.

Firstly, it’s wrong to believe that price comparison sites cover the entire market sector of any one product – they don’t, although limited providers try to convince customers otherwise. Going direct might well get you a better price.

Worse still, many providers set up more than one website using different trading names in order to generate sales leads for specific products, and others route customer service calls to just one call centre. If you’ve found the product you need is out of stock on one site, it’s likely to be out of stock in several others, all of which use the same warehouse and back offices.

Watch out for positive reviews on price comparison sites, as many pay freelance writer agencies to provide fake comments on their products. ‘Best’Buys’ are now being recognised by consumer groups as false, and awareness that some price comparison sites are operating unacceptably is growing.

If you’re shopping online for insurance, care must be taken to ensure that you receive exactly what you’ve requested. Many financial price comparison sites are set up just to generate business by routing you via a questionnaire to one particular provider who may not offer exactly what you need or be charging an exorbitant price.
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