watchdog baring its teeth?
It's dentures were out. I just saw gums.
The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has unveiled compliance principles to curb locally some of the sharper auto-renewal practices of antivirus software firms. The move follows the watchdog baring its teeth at McAfee and Norton over the issue of automatically renewing contracts. The CMA took exception to auto- …
Too many of these contracts are, deliberately, unreadable or obscure. The result is that people agree to things that they do not understand.
We need a set of model contracts that companies can elect to use. These can be kite-marked or similar. We will then ask why they do not use a model contract.
They need to be different ? It will only need a few model contracts to cover pizza delivery to anti-virus; each will have a short schedule that details: prices, delivery prices/times, & similar.
That's a great idea. Even the cowboys in the construction industry use them. One benefit is that there is good case law now for many of the more tricky parts of them with advice for both parties in advance of them committing to anything or going down a litigation route.
Bring it on! Imagine the same for car and household insurance renewals?
How that works now is each annual renewal is typically 10% more than last year (but a couple of years ago with a long claim free history my motor insurance jumped 27%).
So it's time to do a tour of the comparison sites, fill in a lengthy questionnaire at each, wade through dozens of different options, find a cheaper quote, call current insurer. They may offer a small cut but seldom match the best offer because "it's not a like for like equivalent". You read the small print and there are minor detail differences like "no excess for windscreen damage" but the overall excess is £250 instead of £200. Sure it's not like for like but I'm not planning on making a claim anyway and have no idea which choice is the best value for money.
Go for the cheaper quote. Those who don't will find that after 10 years they're paying £1000 p.a. for what was initially £400 p.a. By then a competitive quote might save £500 but in the intervening years the aggregate saving of a yearly switch would be many £hundreds.
If there were some model motor insurance contracts I guess annual switchers like me would end up paying more but would benefit from a couple of hours time saved each year. That should be mitigated by the financial savings to the insurers of reduced call centre, sales, advertising and admin costs.
I continually see emails notifying me that my McAfee and Norton automatic renewing contracts have been charged to my credit card ... normally only about $1200 each. Every email contains a link to follow from the sender(icon) if I want to cancel the payment - I wonder if the UK competition watchdog is getting these emails too?.