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Half of UK broadband customers have never switched provider

  • 50% of Brits have never switched to a different broadband supplier
  • 43% of those who have switched previously have done so only once
  • 8% have moved broadband supplier four or more times

13 April 2015: Half of UK broadband users have stayed loyal to their original provider and never switched to an alternative, according to a survey of 2,000 customers conducted by broadband,TV and mobile comparison site Cable.co.uk.

Furthermore, just under half (43%) of those that have switched have only done so once. 8% of consumers say they've switched to another internet supplier four or more times.

Commenting on the results, broadband expert and Cable.co.uk editor-in-chief Dan Howdle said: "Most of us are aware we could get a better broadband deal by shopping around, but there are barriers. There's friction.

"For one, most existing providers have retentions departments populated by an army of staff dedicated to talking us out of leaving. Most of the time that means either offering us a better broadband deal, escalating our problem or complaint, or both.

"Then there's the hassle of choosing a new provider, of installing new equipment, and the fear that there may be a period, however short, during which we have no internet access at home. And we worry that after going through all of that, there's a chance our new service will be worse somehow.

"In reality, these fears have no firm basis. Retentions policies, installation hassles, fears and uncertainties about everything from how to go about switching to whether switching will ultimately somehow backfire - collectively known as 'switching costs' - are tools providers leverage to convince us we're better off staying put.

"Our advice is to not allow the fear of potential hassles prevent you from enjoying the additional speed, reliability and money that a new broadband deal could provide. Shop around and don't be afraid to make the jump."

Ofcom, the UK's communication regulator, previously announced plans to make the switching process for broadband and mobile services as easy as possible. This will involve implementing a 'provider led' approach with 'clear, relevant' information from marketing departments to help consumers choose.

Advice on how to switch broadband providers is available here: http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/internet/broadband-switching/switching-broadband-provider/

Results

Have you ever switched broadband provider?

How many times have you switched your broadband provider?

Notes to editors

  • If using our research and/or commentary we would deeply appreciate a link either to this page or to https://www.cable.co.uk

-ends-

What is Cable?

Cable is a broadband, TV and phone comparator, unique news source and consumer champion.

Dan Howdle has been plugged into the attitudes of UK broadband, TV and mobile customers for over two decades, running research fieldwork both nationally and internationally on behalf of the biggest players in the industry. Dan is now consumer telecoms analyst at Cable, as well as more formally operating in the role of its Director of Communications and Content.

An experienced broadcaster, commentator and writer, Dan has appeared on BBC TV and radio, ITV, Sky and in the national papers. Dan has advised Ofcom on issues surrounding service quality, administered Cable’s Broadband Service Quality Awards and sat on the panel of judges for the Internet Service Providers Association annual awards.

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