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Broadband prices go up £150 just one day after contract ends

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
29/08/2018
Broadband customers see their bills rise by as much as 82% as soon as their contracts expire, research reveals.

The price you pay for your broadband contract often jumps as soon as the initial term ends, typically after 12 to 18 months.

Standard ADSL broadband customers face an average out-of-contract price hike of 62.5%, meaning bills rise by £12.70 a month or £150 a year.

But BT customers face the steepest hike, with its in-contract pricing standing at £24.99, rising to £45.49 per month – an 82% difference adding an extra £20.50 to monthly bills.

According to the research from comparison site uSwitch, even the cheapest out-of-contract standard broadband deal hike from Plusnet sees bills jump from £19.99 to £29.98 a month – a 50% increase.

OutofContractBroadband1

But it’s not just standard ADSL broadband customers who face big jumps in prices just a day after their contracts expire.

Fibre broadband customers face an average hike of 52.9% in the day between being in contract and the contract coming to an end, taking bills from £25.16 a month to £38.33 – a difference of £13.17. This means bill payers need to pay an extra £158 a year.

This time, uSwitch found that TalkTalk customers paid the most, from the £19.95 in-contract pricing to £33.50 for the out-of-contract price. This is a £13.55 a month difference, equating to 67.9%.

OutofContractBroadband2

Currently broadband providers don’t have to warn customers when their contracts are coming to an end so many end up paying over the odds for their internet. According to uSwitch, 89% of consumers said they’d look for a better deal if they were told their contract was coming to an end.

Communications watchdog Ofcom is currently consulting on rules which would require broadband providers to warn customers that their contracts are about to end.

Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at uSwitch.com, said: “It’s important to warn consumers they are moving onto these higher rates. Consumers have come to expect similar notifications from other industries, so why should it be any different with broadband and mobile contracts?

“Providers benefit if customers are in the dark about when they could seek out better-suited deals. Millions of customers will have fallen into the out-of-contract trap, so it’s right Ofcom is also looking at have notices sent to those people who have been losing out and paying this increased charge for a number of years.

“Every second’s delay sees broadband customers paying an ‘awareness penalty’ and forking out much more than they have to when there are cheaper comparable – and often better – services on the market.”

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