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Is your broadband provider guilty of stealth ‘loyalty penalty’ price rises?

Citizens Advice has claimed that many of the UK’s biggest ISPs impose ‘loyalty penalties’ on long-term broadband customers.

According to the charity, the increases come into effect when introductory offers end, with prices rising by 43% on average a year, or £113 every 12 months.

Which might not be a massive shock to the tech-savvy – introductory deals are, after all, just that – but the report notes that over a third of customers were unaware the price hikes were being implemented, with the research adding that older and poorer households were most likely to get stung.

In all, Citizens Advice found that four of the UK’s five biggest broadband players were guilty of ‘loyalty penalties’ – only Virgin Media gets off scot-free.

Here’s a breakdown of the ‘loyalty penalties’, according to Citizens Advice’s findings:

  • BT: 12 month contract – £198 (67%)
  • Sky: 12 month contract – £120 (53%)
  • EE: 18 month contract – £90 (36%)
  • TalkTalk: 24 months – £66 (28%)

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, commented:

“Loyal broadband customers are being stung by big price rises once their fixed deal ends.

“The government has rightly put energy firms on warning for how they treat loyal customers – the actions of broadband firms warrant similar scrutiny.”

These ‘loyalty penalties’ claimed by Citizens Advice would be in addition to the annual increases imposed by most broadband providers – in the last 12 months, Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk and EE have all increased their prices.

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What do you make of ‘loyalty penalties’? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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