UK customers found to be paying too much for their internet
Communications regulator, Ofcom has launched a proposition wherein internet providers will be forced to inform clients when their minimum term contracts are coming to an end. The proposal comes after millions of customers throughout the country were overcharged for their broadband usage.
It is suspected that more than 10 million people are on broadband packages which have automatic price hikes at the end of the deal, but as most do not switch contracts upon the completion of their current packages, many are failing to make significant savings.
Adding to poor connectivity speeds, general rising costs and frequent malfunctions within the system itself, more than 50 per cent of all UK users believed they were receiving unfair deals from their providers, according to a study carried out by consumer group, Which?.
But the hassle of changing routers, payment methods, passwords and other administrative matters is often enough to deter consumers from switching services.
Andrew Peat from ctrlio, an online platform that compares tariffs as per users’ habits, believed that 30-50 per cent of the broadband consumer base is “sleeping”, meaning that they have not yet switched despite finishing their contracts.
Ofcom have further found that those in the “sleeping” period with a broadband-and-landline package tend to pay 20 per cent more than what they did in the initial contract. The regulator encourages people to haggle once their term has ended in order to secure the best deals to amount to better savings.
The problem, however, is not with the ability to negotiate; it is knowing when to do so. An Ofcom consultation document on notifications that ought to be circulated at the end of contracts stated that: “Around one in 10 are unaware that they could switch to a better deal with their current provider once their contract ends.”
However, when £180-200 worth of savings can be made by being more vigilant, ctrlio urges consumers to be more authoritative when handling broadband providers.