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Bundling - the biggest barrier to broadband switching

20 March 2017

According to new research, bundling – where broadband is packaged together with digital TV and/or land-line telephone services - is the main barrier to Brits switching broadband suppliers for a better deal.

  • Only 17% of Brits have switched broadband provider in last 12 months;
  • A third have never switched broadband supplier;
  • 8% of customers disbelieve advertising claims made by broadband suppliers.

According to new research, bundling – where broadband is packaged together with digital TV and/or land-line telephone services - is the main barrier to Brits switching broadband suppliers for a better deal.

The Switching Report* commissioned by Gocompare.com found that 45% of those that haven’t switched their broadband provider recently, say it is because their account is tied-in with other services. 

Only 17% of people surveyed for the report said they had changed their broadband supplier in the last 12 months.  While bundled packages were given as the main barrier to switching suppliers, other reasons included ‘can’t be bothered’ (10%); not believing the advertising claims made by different suppliers (8%); being tied into a contract (7%) and concerns over a loss of service during the switching process (6%).     

The Switching Report also found that, on average, customers stick with the same broadband company for 2.1 years.  A third of those participating in the survey said that they had never changed provider.

Of those customers who had switched their broadband account, the survey found that many didn’t find the process straightforward.  Consumers who have shopped around for the 10 most common financial services and utility products in the last 12 months were asked about their experience.  Only 65% of broadband switchers said that the process was easy, with only mortgages proving harder to switch.

Tom Lewis from Gocompare.com commented, “Today the internet is one of the main ways we keep connected - whether that’s with loved ones, news, entertainment or the best deals in the shops.  For most of us, broadband is the standard way of connecting to the internet.  And, because it can work out cheaper to buy more than one service from the same supplier, many people have their broadband provided by the same company as their home phone or digital TV.

“Bundling is stopping people shopping around for a better deal.  Broadband providers know that bundled services are harder to switch away from and as a result, more profitable.  But, if you’ve not reviewed your broadband recently you may find that you’re paying more than you need to, possibly for a slower service. The broadband market is competitive, so if you’ve not done so recently, it’s worth taking the time to review your arrangements.”

Five things to consider when comparing broadband services:

Speed – look for a service that's fast enough for your requirements without paying for more than you need to.  Be wary, the advertised speed is the maximum you could get, in reality it may be considerably slower.

Opt for an unlimited data deal – from streaming films and TV to online shopping the amount of data we use has increased significantly.  If possible, opt for a deal that gives you unlimited data.  If your package has a download cap and you exceed it, you will end up paying more and, in extreme cases, your service may be suspended if you consistently exceed your limit.

Contract length –providers may charge you for cancelling within the contract term, even for moving house.  Check for hidden costs - some shorter contracts (less than 12 months) contain a cancellation exit fee.

Fees – read the small print for fees and charges including monthly charges, connection and exit fees.

Read reviews – the cheapest package is not always the best.  To help ensure that you’re signing-up to a good service, check online customer reviews of broadband suppliers’ service and technical support teams.

For more information about switching your broadband supplier visit Gocompare.com.

- ENDS -

Notes to editors:

*On 6 January 2017, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2001 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panelists.  The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.  1,151 had switched in the last 12 months.