Broadband apathy costing Brits 40% too much

12 May 2009 / by Rachael Stiles
Broadband customers in the UK could be overpaying by nearly 40 per cent by not shopping around for the best deal, according to research from Broadbandchoices.co.uk.

The study revealed that between February 2006 and February 2009, broadband became 37 per cent cheaper on average, but in 2008, just 10 per cent of broadband users switched to a better deal.

Therefore, as many as 90 per cent of consumers could be paying too much, and BroadbandChoices estimates that consumers could save more than £230 if they switched broadband providers.

In the same period, between 2006 and 2009, broadband not only became cheaper but it also got faster, 700 per cent faster on average, so consumers are missing out on a better service at a better price, BroadbandChoices has found.

The broadband comparison website says that finding the cheapest broadband deal often gets overlooked as an affective method of cutting household expenses, even while Brits are looking for new ways to save money during the credit crunch.

"Unlike most other household bills, the cost of broadband has decreased whilst the quality has increased in the last three years. This is because of increased competitiveness within the market and a higher take up rate," explains Michael Phillips, product director for BroadbandChoices.co.uk.

"Remember, suppliers save their most compelling offers for new customers and unfortunately many households continue to pay a legacy tariff," he warns, where they pay for an inferior, out of date, service. "They don't realise that by switching - or asking for a better deal - they can get a newer, cheaper and faster service. If they bundle their services then the savings will be even greater.

Commenting on the number of Brits who overlook their broadband package as a cost-cutting measure, Mr Phillips said: "Broadband is in danger of becoming ‘the forgotten bill'. We urge consumers to check they are not stuck on a legacy tariff with their current provider - if they haven't switched in the past year, then its time to get online and compare current deals."

BroadbandChoices.co.uk's top tips for consumers to find the best broadband deals include comparing the deals available for their individual area as costs can vary with postcodes; they should try to haggle with their existing broadband provider to see if they can get a better deal without switching provider, and signing up online, it said, which can come with a number of incentives which are not available to other subscribers.

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