Despite consumers never having had so much choice of technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) products and services, many UK households are becoming overwhelmed by the prospect of switching provider, which is leading to apathy among consumers. This kind of weariness with online tech could well hamper new insurtech start-ups, looking to win over new customers who are already browsing their fave websites and apps.
According to Global Consultancy EY’s latest annual digital home survey of 2,500 UK consumers, the proportion of households agreeing there is too much choice when it comes to broadband bundles continues to rise year-on-year from 43% in 2017 and 46% in 2018 to 50% in 2019. This rises to 58% for the supposedly more tech-savvy 25-34 year-olds.
Households are also finding it more difficult to evaluate different services and understand them. 43% believe there is very little or no difference between broadband providers, up sharply from 36% last year. 38% of respondents are finding services more difficult to understand the services they offer, up from 32% last year.
Meanwhile, signs of apathy that EY’s annual survey has identified in previous years are becoming more pronounced. This year, 33% of respondents believe it is not worth the time and effort to switch providers, up from 26% the year before. 25-34 year-olds are the most likely to see no difference between service providers (53%) and they also show the greatest reluctance to invest time in the switching process (46%).
This is probably good news for many established life, healthcare and home insurers, who rely on the old auto-renewal ploy to keep business ticking over nicely. So long as their prices are fairly competitive, it seems many consumers won’t bother following Martin Lewis’ advice to switch every year to save £15.70.
Adrian Baschnonga, Global Lead Telecommunications Analyst, EY says: “Our survey shows a growing sense of digital apathy among households, with a rising proportion finding the prospect of switching overwhelming and seeing little difference between services. Some providers may view consumer apathy as acceptable – after all, an inert customer is better than no customer. But this kind of customer relationship can do more harm than good.”
Digital Detox, No More Apps Thanks
Nearly two-thirds (61%) of all 25-34 year-olds are actively seeking time away from their smartphones and other internet-enabled devices, compared to 49% of all households.
As concerns around screen time exposure grow, the proportion of consumers wanting digital down-time has increased significantly (from 43%) since 2018.
EY’s report also found that consumers’ desire to step away from their devices is partnered with a more functional view of their online experience. 37% of respondents agree they only use the internet when they have a specific reason to do so, up from 27% the preceding year. Meanwhile, the proportion of consumers agreeing that they do not use mobile apps or only use a few apps they are familiar with has also risen year-on-year from 51% to 55%.