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Freebies could obscure small print

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27/02/2008

Customers lured onto new broadband deals with free gifts should watch out for hidden charges, according to comparison site Moneysupermarket.

Research from the website revealed that 55% of new broadband customers ignore the small print in their contracts, frequently as a result of rushing into a deal because they are offered a free gift. Ignoring the small print makes consumers susceptible to hidden charges, the most common including late payment charges – which account for 36% of hidden charges – and fees for contract termination (34%), exceeding the fair usage limit (32%), moving home (27%) and helpline costs (25%).

Rob Barnes, head of broadband and mobiles at moneysupermarket.com, said: “With so many deals out there, it’s easy to be lured in by the free gifts and enter into a contract without thinking or reading about what it entails.

“If something looks too good to be true, it usually is. Some providers have other ways to make their money that they aren’t willing to be upfront about. It’s definitely a case of ‘buyer beware’ with broadband, so read the contract fully before you sign up.”

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