Loyal broad­band cus­tomers hit with penal­ties of up to £220

Western Daily Press - - Uk & World News -

BROAD­BAND cus­tomers who stay with the same provider and do not hag­gle for a bet­ter deal are be­ing hit with “loy­alty penal­ties” of up to £220 a year, a con­sumer group has warned.

Which? found that in some cases con­sumers would be bet­ter tak­ing up a new su­per­fast broad­band con­tract rather than stay­ing loyal to their provider with­out hag­gling as it would work out cheaper over the course of a year. BT cus­tomers are at risk of pay­ing the big­gest loy­alty premium – £220 – of the eight ma­jor providers, the watch­dog said.

The av­er­age an­nual broad­band bill paid by a loyal BT cus­tomer is £540 a year com­pared to £372 for those cus­tomers who hag­gled – £160 more than the provider’s cheapest fi­bre deal for a su­per­fast con­nec­tions, its sur­vey sug­gests.

But new cus­tomers who take up a con­tract for stan­dard broad­band with BT now will pay just un­der £320 a year un­til their con­tract is up, usu­ally at least 18 months.

Broad­band providers advertise cheap in­tro­duc­tory deals to en­tice new cus­tomers, who of­ten do not switch away even after see­ing a sub­stan­tial price hike at the end of the con­tract.

Which? found 72% of broad­band cus­tomers have been with their provider for more than two years.

Vir­gin Me­dia had the sec­ond high­est loy­alty premium, with a £191 dif­fer­ence be­tween its cheapest cur­rent deal and the av­er­age yearly cost for loyal cus­tomers.

TalkTalk’s new cus­tomers paid about £85 less than loyal cus­tomers, while Plus­net cus­tomers who hag­gled were pay­ing £48 less on av­er­age than those who did not at £252.

Brian Law­less

Tol­ly­more For­est park at the foot of the Mourne moun­tains in Bryans­ford, Co. Down

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