Switched on to plain English

Plain English Campaign are proud to announce that uSwitch.com is the first comparison website to achieve our Internet Crystal Mark. The Internet Crystal Mark is recognised worldwide as a standard that a website has clear language, and is accessible and easy to use.

Plain English Campaign have been fighting for over 30 years against the use of unnecessary jargon and gobbledygook in communications. With a growing trend for public information to be presented through globally accessible online services, using clear language becomes even more important.

Comparison websites draw information from numerous sources in the hope of providing consumers with consistent and accurate facts that can be easily understood, and that helps them make the right choices. During a period of recession, best value becomes a major consideration when switching between providers, but poor language can often obscure the true facts of a tariff or service.

Marie Clair, spokesperson for Plain English Campaign says, “Comparison sites can provide a valuable public service, making sense of the complex technical information from energy suppliers, insurance companies and mobile phone providers. But I sometimes wonder with all the jargon if we will end up with explanation websites for the comparison websites! Marketing gimmicks are great fun, but real value comes from information that is reliable and clear.”

When comparing services for energy, communications and insurance, the challenge is to present the information in a way that the consumer can understand, so that they can come to an independent decision.

Chrissie Maher OBE, founder of Plain English Campaign says, “The industry sectors of energy, communications and insurance always feature at the top of the jargon charts. With over 300 energy tariffs alone to be accurately translated into plain English, this is a mammoth task for any comparison site, but uSwitch has risen to that challenge with crystal-clear success.”

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says, “We are here to make it simpler, clearer and easier for consumers to choose the best services, providers and deals for their needs. Household bills can be complex and confusing – we make them easy for consumers to understand and to therefore see how they can cut back and save money. Being the first price comparison site to achieve the Internet Crystal Mark from Plain English Campaign is a great endorsement for our service – we’re delighted that our efforts have been recognised in this way.”

Copyright © 2014 Plain English Campaign. All Rights Reserved.

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