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ArgosCompare, friend or foe?

So Argos is comparing the market, with supposedly links to thousands of brokers. Does this mean the applicant will be forced into completing the application form using a tiny little pen?

Will people have to press a few buttons, just to see if Woolwich have any mortgages in stock? Then once your application has gone through, will you have to wait for ages before someone in a brown overcoat comes out to say whether your mortgage has been accepted or not?

Now I am sure I am doing Argos a disservice. But I am fed up with copy-cat comparison sites. Yet this site isn’t really comparing mortgages to be frank.

Their main mortgage page is no different to a best buy table in the Sunday papers. Then you can seek advice from mortgage adviser by filling in a form. That sounds good for brokers. So I tested the site, using a range of postcodes, however the same broker’s name came up each time! Was that the cookie, or something more sinister?

Whilst Tesco offers a greater threat, Argos’ system should not be dismissed and I don’t think this is good for mortgage brokers, apart from those that get business from it that is.

Therefore, brokers need to fight back. They need to remind themselves, and their clients (existing and prospective), about their skills and expertise that such systems simply do not offer. They must differentiate themselves and add value and clearly communicate their offering. They just need to remember that they have been comparing the market for years.

Furthermore, they can compare parts computers cannot reach, such as service and underwriting criteria. So it is a case of beware but not afraid.

Finally, I must apologise for anyone who gets a call from my tests!

Jeff Knight is managing director of Tonic Marketing Solutions.


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There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. A quick look at how Argos Compare handles mortgage enquiries is enough to confirm that they’re not doing any comparing at all. There is a ‘best buy’ table as you mention, Jeff, but the next bit is just about packaging your details so that they can be sold on to whatever broker is willing to pay for them.

    But the comparison sites have been doing this for ages so there’s nothing new there. Once you get to the broker, well they’ll just do what they’ve always done won’t they?

    While it’s easy to focus on the shoddy practices of a newly launched ‘comparison’ site, it shouldn’t be overlooked that it’s been happening for a while elsewhere – and frequently disguised as consumer championing too, which is dubious at best. As for Argos Compare, if you want to know what kind of customers you’re likely to get, maybe a wee lunchtime trip to your local Argos should be enough to make up your mind about whether or not you’d want to use the service to generate leads …

  2. The Argos Compare site is a white-labelled interface to Leads online, a lead generation service. Brokers interested in receiving enquiries from the Argos website have to sign up to Leads online and they will then receive the leads they have paid for.

    I understand that the customer receives confirmation of the broker to whom the enquiry has been sent, before the broker receives the lead.

    Not exactly what it says on the tin

  3. Lets be honest its not really Argos but a lead generation firm called who have more fingers in pies than you can mention.

    Had dealings with this firm previously and ask a number of questions on which they failed to answer regarding regulatory guidelines etc.

    I would suggest that any broker signing up for leads asked a number of questions which AMI do provide a guide on.

    Think this could be a nightmare to manage in the future even from Argos!

  4. Well it seems it never ends, I go to Tescos for my cucumbers…I go to Sainsbury’s for my Pain au Chocolates and I go to argos for a hairdryer.. This whole band wagon of making money with banking is terrible soon simply no choice.. Virgin HSBC Santander Tesco and flipping Argos! guess what there all offering a Non Advised Service and getting away with shoddy practice whilst these FSA loopholes can be exploited. If brokers are the drug dealers…Then banks are the suppliers!!!

  5. Jeff. Give me a call. you are spot on! Some other comments are too. You dont go to Argos for a Mortgage, this model is the same as Edge and some others. Send me an email I have a PC full of these conversion stats! Why would you go to

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