I’ve been an advocate of broadband switching for a long time. Why stay with a provider you aren’t happy with? Yet our survey found that many unhappy consumers still aren’t switching their broadband. So why is that?
Our investigation into broadband switching found the majority of customers had a positive switching experience in the past, yet there was still room for improvement.
The overriding message was that many are discouraged from switching because they’re concerned something will go wrong, or they think it will be too much effort.
A tale of switching
I was horrified when I found out how much my parents were paying for their home phone line and broadband connection. Unsurprisingly, they found a much better deal without much trouble and decided to switch.
One of their main concerns was the physical switchover of the router and connection. Unfortunately, their concerns were well founded. The old line was cut-off 24-hours before they were told it would be without any explanation or warning.
As an additional complication, the password for the new broadband account had been arranged over the phone but was somewhat lost in translation. But all in all, they were happy to be up and running fairly painlessly, until a few weeks later…
The sting in the tale
BT told my parents to expect two final bills for the separate broadband and home phone line rental accounts they’d closed. However, when a letter from BT arrived, it turned out to be a normal bill for the next charge period as though nothing had ever happened.
Were BT finding it hard to let go of this relationship? My mum was told the proper procedure for cancelling the broadband had not been followed. When my parents signed up with Plusnet, they were told this would be taken care of and, since the broadband had been offline for 24 hours, they were fairly convinced it had been.
The customer service representative’s response to this was that there must have been an outage in service, but I remain unconvinced.
Did they live happily ever after?
Two more calls were required before the situation was finally sorted. But why should switching involve a morning of chasing companies, with the onus on the customer to check the situation is sorted? Overall, my parents are pleased they made the move. But they aren’t alone in their experience, as nearly one in 10 of the switchers we asked found they had problems setting up a new connection or found their old provider was still taking payments.
We’ve shared our research with Ofcom, which is currently reviewing how broadband switching can be improved. Have you had a negative experience switching your broadband in the past?