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Loyal Broadband Customers “Wasting” GBP1.1bn a Year by Not Switching ISP

Wednesday, Sep 5th, 2012 (1:29 am) - Score 417

A new uSwitch survey claims that 46% of British broadband users have never swapped ISP and might thus be overpaying by an average of £120+ a year (national total of £1.1 billion), which could be saved by swapping to a cheaper package. But is price the best measure of a good ISP?

The study also found that 31% of Brits pay more than £20 (monthly) for broadband and 10% pay more than £30, which is despite the fact that some broadband services (e.g. TalkTalk, Primus Saver etc.) can be taken for just a few pounds (excluding line rental, which can add up to an extra £15 to the cost).

But when consumers do switch ISP some 54% claimed to do so because it saved them money, while 34% swapped after experiencing poor customer service or support and 28% did so due to the slow speed of their package. Just 11% swapped in the hope of taking a bundle of broadband with TV and or phone services. Separately some 27% have stayed with the same ISP for 5 years+, while 51% have stuck with their current provider for over 3 years!

Julia Stent, uSwitch Telecoms Expert, said:

Too few people realise that they could be getting a much better deal, not only in terms of value for money, but also better speeds and connectivity. If people have never switched, they may not know if their local area has recently received a super-fast broadband upgrade, or if they could be paying a lot less for their deal. Many packages are now less than £10 a month – substantially cheaper than many consumers are currently paying.”

It goes without saying that judging the market on price alone gives a somewhat one dimensional impression and overlooks other key factors, such as usage allowance, additional services, support quality and performance. Elsewhere the study found that 24% of those whom attempted to switch were persuaded to stay by their ISP, which often stemmed from being offered a better deal by their provider (13% felt ISPs were being too “pushy” while trying to prevent their migration).

Perhaps of less surprise is the fact that those aged 55+ ended up being the least likely to switch, with over half (52%) having stuck with just one provider (this compares with 33% of 18-24 year olds). As a side note, Men were also found to be “the savviest” consumers with 41% reviewing their choice of ISP at least once a year, which compared with 33% of Women.

Ultimately paying less doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a better value for money but we do agree that it’s good to keep your eye on the market. Don’t be afraid to swap but at the same time it’s often easier to stick with the existing provider, so long as they continue to meet your needs. Ofcom are currently working to improve the migration process in order to make it both quicker and easier for consumers (details).

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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