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Gender divide; men more likely to underestimate their bill totals

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Men consistently underestimate the size of their household bills, according to research published by

When asked about their energy, insurance, credit card, mobile phone and tax bills, male respondents consistently underestimated them by an average of almost £20. Female respondents’ predictions were more accurate, but as a group they tended to be more shocked by their monthly bill.

Energy was the most ‘shocking’ bill of all, with just under a third (30 per cent) of respondents overall declaring that they were shaken by their most recent statement. A fifth expressed surprise at their car insurance and tax bills, while one in ten were taken aback by their last phone bill.

The study also found that men feel a greater sense of loyalty towards their service providers than women generally do, but are far more likely to lodge a complaint if they are not happy with the level of charges.

“A lot of household bills are ‘low involvement’ products, particularly energy,” Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos, consumer psychologist at University College London, said. “Little involvement may explain why people are often shocked by the size of their bills.”

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