Expired broadband contracts waste £105 a year

Around £1.5 billion a year could be being wasted by broadband users who don’t move to a new provider or sign up to a new deal, according to uSwitch.com.

Since 2011, out-of-contract broadband prices have increased by 38 per cent for copper connections and 19 per cent for fibre connecti…

Around £1.5 billion a year could be being wasted by broadband users who don’t move to a new provider or sign up to a new deal, according to uSwitch.com.

Since 2011, out-of-contract broadband prices have increased by 38 per cent for copper connections and 19 per cent for fibre connections, while in-contract prices have barely changed, research published by the price comparison website has revealed.

A survey of 2,002 broadband users found that those languishing on expired contracts are overpaying by £105 a year, while out-of-contract fibre broadband users could save £79 by securing a new contract.

Lofty line rental rises

Meanwhile, the cost of line rental for all broadband users has jumped by 37 per cent in the last five years, demanding an extra £216 a year – £58 more than in 2011.

These findings come after two major broadband providers announced hefty price increases in January, with Sky upping its line rental from £17.40 a month to £18.99. This 9.1 per cent hike brings it in line with BT’s increase. Before these increases, Plusnet and Virgin Media offered the priciest line rental at £17.99 a month.

Out of the six biggest broadband providers (BT, EE, Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media), the largest monthly line rental increase in the last five years came from Plusnet, with prices jumping by 50 per cent from £11.99 in October 2011 to £17.99 in October 2016.

What to do

Ewan Taylor-Gibson, broadband expert at uSwitch.com, said that broadband users have been hammered by soaring line rental costs and out-of-contract pricing over the past five years, but added there is plenty that customers could do to prevent this happening in the future.

Anyone still in contract is unlikely to be paying over the odds, he reckons, and with most broadband contracts typically lasting between 12 and 18 months, those who hadn’t moved to a new provider in the past year could be out of contract and potentially paying more than they should be.

He added that users could play the system and cancel their contract if they let their existing provider know within 30 days from the date they’ve been notified of an increase concerning broadband packages and line rental.

“Doing this will give you early access to cheap introductory deals, typically reserved only for new customers,” the uSwitch expert concluded.

By Amy White

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