Last reviewed: 29 June 2022
Getting the best deal on utilities has never been more topical or urgent. Money saving experts advise consumers to check their tariffs and talk to their providers to ensure they get the best deals and all the discounts to which they are entitled. If it is possible and necessary, consumers are advised to switch providers for a better deal.
Our research found, however, that disabled consumers do not always have these options. We asked disabled consumers about their choice of utility provider for gas, electricity and broadband. In a nationally representative survey, 12 per cent of respondents with a disability or health condition said that they had personally experienced problems with their utility provider because of their disability in the last five years.
Disabled people who had changed or considered changing providers or accounts in the last two years said that, while cost was the key factor when choosing a provider, other factors also played an influential role. These include the ease of switching and setting up a new account, the accessibility of the website or app, and how easy it was to communicate with their provider of choice.
Download the PDF in the sidebar for the full report.
Who is this for?
‘What disabled consumers choose to buy and why’ is for everyone involved in improving the experience of disabled consumers whether online, by phone or in-person. The findings will be useful for customer experience managers, customer service personnel, facilities and property managers and also for D&I and HR professionals responsible for attracting and hiring customer-service staff.
Business Disability Forum (supported by Microsoft) commissioned Open Inclusion to gather business and consumer insights in the period from September 2021 to January 2022.
These insights were drawn from:
- Ten depth interviews with businesses were undertaken by Business Disability Forum amongst their Members and Partners.
- A quantitative survey of 1001 people. A quantitative survey carried out by Ipsos on behalf of the Business Disability Forum, interviewing 1,001 adults aged 18+ in Great Britain between 26 November and 5 December 2021. The survey was carried out to explore the differences in attitudes to decision making between disabled and non-disabled consumers. Disabled respondents self-selected their disability and included people with sensory, physical, neurodiverse, mental health, cognitive and long-term conditions and access needs related to aging. In total 457 respondents opted in to one or more of these. The data has been weighted to the known offline population proportions for age within gender, government office region, working status, social grade (and ethnicity in the UK).
- A qualitative and detailed online survey (241 respondents all with disabilities answered a 25-minute questionnaire).
- Focus groups of four separate 90-minute sessions facilitated by Open Inclusion.
View full research methodology.
See the rest of the sector-specific reports in this series:
See the main report and detailed findings.
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