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Watchdog Says Switching Broadband is too Expensive

A survey conducted over thousands of Broadband customers has revealed that many UK customers find switching broadband packages too expensive.

The Citizens Advice Bureau has revealed that “some people are finding themselves locked into unsuitable broadband contracts or hit by arbitrary cancellation fees when they switch to get a better service.” They calculated that “the average cost was £190 for getting out of a broadband contract, with fees up to £625 reported, in cases from the first six months of the year where cancellation fees were recorded. “

Internet Service Providers disagree however with a spokesman for the Internet Service Providers’ Association (Ispa) quoting “the cancellation policies on contracts generally require the remaining subscriptions to be paid off, and reflect actual costs.”

Over 3,000 people were interviewed about their how switching broadband effected them with the top three issues being:

  • 1 in 5 problems (23%) are about cancellation and withdrawal
  • 18 per cent of problems are to do with complaints and redress
  • 15 per cent of problems concern costs, billing or payment

Ofcom has provided a guidance check-list for consumers to consult when signing up or switching broadband contracts. It advices customers to research the following before agreeing a contract:

  • Contracts can be no longer than 2 years
  • Termination charges cannot exceed remaining contract payments
  • Providers must provide information on charges
  • Information must be clear and prominent
  • Switching must be free, if prices go up unexpectedly
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