Consumers left in the dark over broadband contracts and speed requirements
Broadband providers are failing to keep customers up to date on the status of their contracts, according to new research from comparethemarket.com.
59% of broadband customers claim that they have never been informed by their provider of their contract coming to an end, whilst one third (33%) of customers say that they do not know when their contract expires. Against a backdrop of three years of broadband price rises, over 10% of customers – equating to around 2.5 million broadband users across the UK – admit to having no idea how much they pay for their broadband package. Furthermore, 13% said that they did not know if their broadband bills had gone up, down or stayed the same for the last three years. The majority of customers are also unaware of their connection requirements, with over half (52%) claiming that they do not do know what speed they need, meaning that potentially over 13 million households could be paying for more than they need. Indeed, 72% of customers admitted to having either a ‘fairly vague’ or ‘no idea’ of their speed requirements, with only 8% saying they had a ‘very good idea’.
The fact that such a significant proportion of customers do not know how much they pay for their broadband, contrasts with the finding that 41% of customers consider price their main priority when choosing a package. This compares with less than a quarter (24%) who cite a fast connection as the most important factor. Peter Earl, Head of Energy & Utilities at comparethemarket.com, said: “Whilst price is clearly viewed as the deciding factor when it comes to choosing a broadband package, our research findings suggest that many customers may not actually have a view on whether what they pay is appropriate.
In a price-hike world, where the cost of internet packages is often rising, it is concerning to see that so many customers seem to be in the dark around the conditions of their contract.
“Not only are many customers unaware of the length of their contract, a significant proportion do not know how much their package is costing them, or even if they need the connection speed they are paying for.
We would always recommend that consumers review their broadband package carefully on an annual basis to ensure they are not overpaying and that their bills have not been hiked without them realising.”