Silver surfers scared to switch broadband providers

Here’s why

Broadband comparison website Broadband Genie has found over 55s are needlessly wasting money on old broadband packages. Many in this age group have never switched provider (41 per cent) or tried to renegotiate their contract cost (49 per cent). Worryingly, the majority (83 per cent) have been with their provider for two years or more, so are usually on expensive out-of-offer contracts.

Common reasons given for not trying to renegotiate are a lack of confidence (21 per cent), uncertainties around whether they are allowed to (25 per cent), and concerns over whether it would be successful (27 per cent). On a positive note, of those that tried to renegotiate their contract (51 per cent) a massive 82 per cent were successful.

When it came to switching many feared losing service (17 per cent), a perceived confusing switching process (14 per cent), or being ripped off (7 per cent). As many as 39 per cent weren’t even aware of when their broadband contract was up for renewal: a prime time to save.

However, of those that had never switched (41 per cent) many said they would if the process was simpler (35 per cent), or if they had support from their provider (19 per cent), an independent service such as a comparison site (16 per cent), or friends and family (14 per cent).

Broadband Genie’s research, commissioned through OnePoll, discovered such issues and concerns become more prevalent the older they were. For example, 12 per cent of 55 to 60-year olds said they are not at all confident in their ability to switch their broadband package this number increases to 20 per cent for those aged 76+.

Rob Hilborn, Head of Strategy at Broadband Genie, said: “There’s clearly more that needs to be done to get this age group taking action on their broadband bill.

“Switching providers and renegotiating contracts are crucial steps when it comes to getting a competitive, low-cost deal. Older people need to feel confident and informed enough to make good decisions regarding their broadband contract.

“More support needs to be available to prevent vulnerable groups overpaying. Simply allowing these users to fall onto a more expensive deal and fend for themselves isn’t good enough.

“The switching process was actually made easier by Ofcom in 2015, so in most cases the new provider handles the switch for you. But I think more could be done to make users aware of this, particularly those that have never been active switchers.

“The positive news is that our research shows the majority of those who do try to renegotiate their contract are successful. Simply picking up the phone to talk to your provider or going online to find a better deal could result in serious savings.”

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