Loyal broadband customers paying over the odds

Broadband bill payers who stay loyal to their providers have seen their monthly bills rise significantly, according to research by uSwitch.com.

Broadband and home phone prices for loyal customers have increased by an inflation-busting 40% since 2011, costing households an extra £61 million per month.

While new customers can cash in on competitive opening offers and a record-breaking number of free broadband deals, existing customers have experienced steep increases in the cost of their broadband and home phone.

Bill payers who have loyally stayed with their broadband providers following the end of their initial contracts are paying on average £8.59 a month – or £103 a year – more now than they were four years ago. With almost a third (30%) of people having never switched provider, this amounts to at least £61 million each month.

More than four in 10 (44%) people are unsure when their broadband contracts end, leaving them at risk of rising bills. But introducing end of contract notifications could encourage broadband users to shop around for a better deal and make savings of up to £151 per year.

The energy market introduced end of fixed deal notifications in April 2014 and, as a result, almost six in 10 (58%) energy customers ending fixed term contracts now look into switching tariffs, either with their existing supplier or by moving to a new one.

Most broadband users would like to see something similar in the broadband market. Three in five (60%) say they would like to receive reminders from their providers when their contract comes to an end. More than six in 10 (61%) claim it would make them more likely to switch if this reminder explained what the monthly charges would be increasing to.

A spokesman for uSwitch commented:“There are no prizes for loyalty. Broadband users who take the time to switch provider or tariff are quids in, but it’s a very different story for the old faithfuls who end up penalised for their inertia. And due to rising prices it’s getting worse. Broadband customers pay 40% more for their loyalty now than four years ago.”

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