A UK broadband survey published today by uSwitch reveals that customers who don't renegotiate or switch broadband contracts in time face hefty price hikes from the day their terms expire. Its major findinga are that standard broadband customers on average face a 62 per cent price hike, meaning an extra £152pa, while fibre customers will see their prices rise by 53 per cent, or about £158pa on average.
Standard broadband price implications
Just like with other utilities, it looks like a broadband ISP's ideal customer is one burdened with a busy life and other important things to consider, or has some other reason for inertia. Customer loyalty is not rewarded but financially punished, quite heavily. Whether you are on ADSL or Fibre, your monthly broadband bill is likely to rise by about £13 per month if you 'do nothing' after your contract period ends (typically 12 or 18 months).
Fibre broadband contracts
As the law stands the ISPs have no obligation to warn customers that their initial term is ending, so a lot of us will end up paying a so-called 'awareness penalty', at least for one month. Meanwhile uSwitch says that 89 per cent of customers would look for a new deal if they were told their contract was coming to an end. Ofcom is currently considering whether it will require broadband providers to warn their customers that their contracts are about to end. Elsewhere in the services industry, UK energy suppliers and insurance companies have to tell customers that coverage or contract terms are ending, for example.
uSwitch is asking Ofcom to make any end of term contract notices timely, concise, and clear for broadband customers. If ISPs do have to alert customers in the future, Ofcom "must ensure that crucial information doesn’t get buried in the small print of bills," wrote Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at uSwitch.com.