The cost of broadband is a point of contention for many households, so it will come as welcome news that new rules are being brought in to make broadband advertising – and pricing – clearer and fairer. However, it could be a case of "too little, too late" for some people, as research from wireless broadband provider Relish shows that consumers are currently losing out on £2.6bn per year by signing up to so-called deals…
Their calculations show that British consumers are spending a collective £2.6bn each year on unexpected broadband and line rental fees, after the gloss of a seemingly cost-effective deal starts to wear off.
The research found that the typical consumer will stay with their broadband provider for at least three years, but it's after the initial 12-month offer period comes to an end that costs really begin to ramp up. In fact, a customer can end up spending as much as £156 extra per year by automatically being locked into price rises once the initial contract expires.
Will Harnden, of Relish, commented on the findings: "The figure of £2.6bn equates to £156 extra per person each year – this is by no means a small amount. Our study just scratches the surface on the issues facing the broadband industry at the moment, and we are in full support of the moves Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Authority have taken to regulate how broadband providers advertise.
"We don't think there's any need for broadband to be as complicated as it currently is. We need to work together to clean up the industry and give consumers the correct information to clearly assess the best possible deals."
Happily, the landscape could be improving for consumers in the future – not only are regulators implementing new rules, but the Government recently set out its intention to ensure that consumers get a fairer deal, decreeing that they should be able to understand the full cost of a broadband deal and shouldn't be misled by teaser rates.
However, in the meantime, it's important to be proactive. It could be a while before these changes are felt in consumer wallets, so don't delay – if you're coming to the end of a broadband deal, start researching alternatives before you get locked in to a higher price! Start the process by using our comparison tool and see if you can find a better deal.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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