We’ve found that many are struggling to get in touch with household utility and service providers during lockdown. Has your ‘life-admin’ become more difficult?
With the majority of us now staying at home, you might think the lockdown is a prime opportunity to cut household bills and switch to better providers for any regular expenses such as broadband, energy, pay TV – or even your mortgage.
But when we surveyed 4,000 UK adults in late April, unsurprisingly around one in five of them told us they had experienced problems contacting their provider in the last month (21%).
And, as many as one in five people said they were less likely to contact their provider because it had asked them not to get in touch unless it was about urgent matters.
More than half (53%) of broadband customers, and a third (32%) of pay-TV customers said they ran into problems contacting their provider.
Typically these included long call waiting times and – particularly for broadband providers – and no online chat support available.
This has been particularly frustrating because two in five (38%) said they were more likely to negotiate the price of their pay-TV or broadband deals during the lockdown.
Conversely, the lockdown made a fifth of respondents less likely to switch broadband (22%) or pay-TV provider (20%), despite the cost savings on offer. Concerns ranged from switching being too hard, to the risk of putting additional strain on call centres.
Worryingly, 14% of respondents whose broadband contracts had reached an end told us they had been unable to switch.
Have you been unable to switch?
Some people told Which? that despite the current crisis they were still looking to remortgage, with one in five (22%) of those who contacted their bank in the last month doing so to discuss remortgaging.
But only half (52%) of those who did contact their bank are confident they will be able to successfully remortgage in the next three months. Concerning for anyone who’s fixed-rate deal may be coming to an end.
Clearly these are unprecedented times we are all living through, but businesses cannot take their customers for granted.
If you’ve been refused a switch or unable to negotiate a better deal we’d like to hear your story in the comments.