Price matching site has punters going Bonkers

This article appeared on page 3 of the "Get Ireland Working" supplement of print version of The Irish Sun on 26th April 2011

By Owen Conlon

Best deals... company bosses David and Simon


Most firms have taken a hit as punters scrimp and save through the recession - but it's been the making of one Irish company.
Price comparison website Bonkers.ie has seen business take off as consumers turn to the web to find the best deals on electricity, gas, broadband, and banking.
The firm was set up in April of last year by David Kerr and Simon Moynihan, who both left good jobs with a company building similar websites in the UK.
David, 38, took a big risk as he was ditching a CEO position to start the new company - but he revealed he's never looked back.
David said: "It was a very big personal choice to take in the recession to jump out and start a business. My wife took some convincing.
"I'd been thinking about it for over a year.
"But I felt the timing was appropriate for Ireland to have a high quality personal finance site, because there wasn't really one out there.
"We launched initially for credit cards, personal loans, current accounts and savings accounts.
"The reason we chose those was that they were quite complex and you have to do a lot of sums.
"So we do the sums for you and show you in detail how we arrived at that figure and the euro amount and percentage amount you can save..
"On top of that, if we find a better deal for you with your gas or electricity or whatever, we handle the switch for you as well.
"We take the legwork out of the market."
Commission for encouraging consumers to make those switches is how bonkers.ie makes its money.
The service is free for punters to use, but it gets a fixed fee for every member of the public it helps change suppliers.
Set-up costs were limited as David and his software engineer team designed the price comparison software themselves - and the recession made renting office space affordable.
A year down the line, Dubliner David says business is going "very well".
He added: "We have three and a half staff now and we've had a big surge of traffic on the site and user numbers.
"At the moment, we've seen a lot of customers, both on the web and calling us who are interested in putting their money with the likes or RaboDirect or Nationwide UK or Ulster Bank as they're not Irish.
"Saving money on stuff you don't need to spend money on is at the forefront of people's minds.
"If there's a way that you can pay less for the same gas, broadband, or electricity then of course it makes sense to do that.
"If you saw 50 euro falling out of your wallet, you'd pick it up fairly quickly.
"This is just an alternative way of doing that."

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