Loyal broadband customers hit with penalties of up to £220
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.
Tollymore Forest park at the foot of the Mourne mountains in Bryansford, Co. Down