13th Dec 2018
Consumer group Which? has found that some Broadband customers are being hit with financial “loyalty penalties” of up to £220 per year.
Which? revealed that in some cases customers who stay with the same provider year after year without haggling for a better deal pay more than they would if they took up a new superfast broadband contract with a new provider.
Cheap introductory deals are often used by providers to attract new customers, before substantial price hikes are introduced at the end of the contract. Despite this, many customers choose to stay with their current providers. The survey of 3,131 Which? members revealed that 72% have been with their provider for more than two years.
Of the eight major providers, BT customers were highlighted as being the most at risk of paying loyalty premiums. The average annual bill paid by a longstanding BT customer is £540, compared to new customers who pay just under £320 a year on a standard broadband package. The average yearly price for loyal customers who haggle drops to £372.
Virgin Media has the second highest premium, with a £191 difference between its cheapest current deal and the average yearly sum that loyal customers pay. Those who negotiate a better deal save an average of £156, compared to long-term customers who pay an average of £540.
In terms of other providers, TalkTalk’s new customers pay £85 less than those who are loyal, while long-time Plusnet consumers who negotiate on price pay £48 less on average.
Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said: “Broadband customers will be appalled that not only could they be paying through the nose simply for being loyal to their provider but that they could, in some cases, also get a much faster internet connection for a fraction of the price that they are currently paying.
She continued: “If you are willing to negotiate and happy with your current service, haggling might get you a good discount, but researching the deals available and switching is the best way to ensure you’re on a good value tariff.”