Bamboozled by bills: 25pc of householders believe they were overcharged

Householders are being bamboozled by bills – with many fearing they are being overcharged, new research has found.

A quarter of consumers believe they were overcharged on at least one bill in the last year, research from price comparison site shows.

Most people feel they have no choice but to trust their supplier to get the bill right.

The research found that 62pc of consumers find household bills difficult to decipher, with electricity bills the hardest to understand. One in five gas customers also claims to have been overcharged for amounts in excess of €150.

A third of consumers don’t actually check their bills thoroughly – they are missing vital information, such as whether or not it was estimated.

Almost half of people rely on the suppliers to get their bills right, even though a quarter of people said they have been overcharged in the last year.

The survey comes as the regulator, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), recently revealed 58pc of all complex electricity complaints were in relation to billing issues, while 69pc of all complex gas complaints were as a result of billing problems.

Managing director of Eoin Clarke said suppliers have a role to play in making bills as simple and accessible as possible, but consumers have a role to play too.

“Bills may seem boring, but they contain really important information. If you avoid reading them, you run the risk of being over or undercharged.

“You could also be missing out on opportunities to save money by changing your usage habits, or switching to a better deal,” he said, adding that most suppliers have a detailed breakdown on their websites, and dedicated customer service teams to take questions.

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