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UK broadband customers face steep price rises at contract end

by Mark Tyson on 29 August 2018, 13:31

Tags: British Telecom (LON:BT.A), Virgin (NASDAQ:VMED), Sky

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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.



HEXUS Forums :: 42 Comments

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Yep, I have gotten burnt by the first month out of contract price hikes. I don't think they should be allowed, you're not out of contract, the contract still applies you're just no longer “locked in”.
Tabbykatze
Yep, I have gotten burnt by the first month out of contract price hikes. I don't think they should be allowed, you're not out of contract, the contract still applies you're just no longer “locked in”.

It's a bit mad. Happens with everything though, not just internet.
Its just a petty tactic to either hoodwink free cash from people who don't keep a close eye on their billing, or coerce renewal of a locked in contract. I'd tell my ISP to get lost if they tried that on me.
This is the sort of thing Offcom will put an end too sooner or later, so no doubt the more morally bankrupt among the providers will push the limits until then.
I'm already there, but until GigaClear get around to it we're stuck with BT - £40 hiked to £75 because, “We notice you're using more than before”…. on an Unlimited connection that maxes out at 0.7Mbps and with no guaranteed minimum, despite the fact that I'm actually gaming a lot less these days.

I'll be getting the full Gbps connection, because a connection over 1400 times faster is actually cheaper than the BOHICA that BT are forcing upon me!!