Millions of Brits would rather pay through the nose for services via their existing broadband provider than switch suppliers and risk a prolonged period without access to the web, a poll has found.
Some 35 per cent of customers said the fear of broadband blackout would deter them off signing up to another provider, according to a survey of more than 2,000 customers by comparison site uSwitch.
The average saving just for switching provider is £9.80 per month, said uSwitch. It found Brits could be missing out on up to £327m savings per year, if the results were extrapolated across the population.
Customers can be left without the internet when in-between providers, although unexpected delays can prolong that timeframe.
Ewan Taylor-Gibson, broadband expert at uSwitch.com, said the switch over period can also "seriously impact those who are isolated, work from home or need access to critical services online."
"There are a range of factors that can hold up the installation process - such as if you need a new Openreach home phone line installed, or if you’re signing up to Virgin and your property hasn’t yet been connected to their cable network. These potential delays should be factored in when looking to switch."
He called on providers to do more to prevent hold-ups, which currently act as a barrier to switching - something Ofcom is presently probing.
"A system such as the introduction of automatic compensation could act as a solid incentive to encourage providers to work better at providing a more seamless switching service. We’re hoping providers will be further held to account as a result of upcoming changes in the Government’s Digital Economy Bill," he said.
Ofcom requires all providers to tell customers, at the point of sale, the likely date the service will be provided.
If a broadband provider is not following that guidance, customers can make a formal complaint, initially via the company’s customer services department. That issue can then be escalated to an Alternative Dispute Resolution Scheme.
Whether this is actually resolved before broadband service are instated from a new provider is another matter. ®