Loyalty to broadband providers is costing UK users hundreds of pounds a year, according to a consumer watchdog. A Which? study revealed Brits could be saving up to £220 a year by haggling with their existing ISP to receive a deal closer to what new customers are offered.
The study found that price hikes once minimum term contracts expire can be largely offset by negotiating a better deal, but too many Brits are paying a ‘loyalty premium’. Astonishingly, Which? found that 72% of the broadband users it quizzed, who’d been with their provider for over two years, were overpaying for their contracts (via Guardian).
BT is the worst offender, according to the study. Legacy customers are paying an average of £540 per year for their contracts, whereas new customers pay £320 on average. However, those customers who haggle are getting their bill down to an average of £372.
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Virgin Media was next up on the naughty list, with £156 a year in the offing for those who’d gone after a better deal, compared with those who didn’t.
While the haggling tactic appears to work on the big two, Talk Talk subscribers enjoyed decidedly less success. New customers pay £240 a year, while loyal customers end up forking over £324 on average. Those to sought out a better deal pay an average of £318.
Alex Neill of Which? 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.”
BT added in a statement: “We agree that customers shouldn’t overpay for the service they receive and we encourage customers to contact us to discuss the deals and offers available to ensure they are on a package that suits them.”
Moral of the story? Make the call. It could earn you a few Christmas beer tokens.
Which broadband company is most generous when it comes to negotiating a new deal? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.