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You’ll leave your spouse before switching broadband providers – all because of fear

June 2016 saw the CMA call for Brits to change banks following concerns that the big four dominated the market – and that customers were loyal despite bad history. But this unusual concept isn't the preserve of finance. We don't like switching broadband providers either.
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The CMA claimed 75 per cent of Brits had been with their bank for over ten years. People were also more likely to stay with their bank than their spouse. This hasn’t changed since 2013, when Payments Council research unveiled a typical marriage lasted 11 years and six months. Not to be outdone, the same concept applies to switching broadband providers.

Some 77 per cent of Brits will stay with a telecom company longer than their partner, Cable claimed. Of the 2,000 customers it interviewed, 33 per cent had only been with one broadband provider, compared to 14 per cent who had one relationship in their lifetime. Some 17 per cent of men had had ten or more partners. Meanwhile, 11 per cent of women said they’d had ten or more relationships throughout their lives.

“A lot of this comes down to fear,” Dan Howdle, Cable’s consumer telecoms expert, said. “Even though most of us have heard we can save money by switching broadband at the end of the contract or attempting to haggle down the price, we’re scared of being without broadband while we wait for our new service – or that the new service won’t be as good as the old one.”

This echoes research from uSwitch, which explained the thought of being without internet prevented most of us from making the switch. Yet this, uSwitch claimed, meant consumers were missing out on savings of £327m a year.

This might explain why so few like switching broadband provider – 11 per cent haven’t switched provider in the past year and 22 per cent have not moved in over five years.

Russell Crampin, UK managing director at Axians, suggested the statistics demonstrated the need for broadband providers to educate customers around the best way to switch, and what can be done in between, in order to ensure customers aren’t missing out on great savings.

“With each passing day, the global demand for bandwidth grows exponentially,” he said. “Subscribers are constantly using their broadband, be it uploading their work to their head offices, watching high-definition video on demand or playing online games. At the end of the day, everything must be connected to everything, everywhere. This is where broadband networks prove their worth. And while new providers are reaching more households and businesses to offer choices, previous experiences have been painful.

“In light of this, the providers would benefit from advertisement and regulatory pushes similar to that delivered when helping people move bank accounts. This would drive broadband provision and result in increased competition and user satisfaction. Most importantly, providers must offer stability. They can do this by using solutions which will prepare customers for any scenario, to eradicate the fear of broadband outage in the future. This means using a scalable network infrastructure to allow them to deliver their broadband services to subscribers and end users.”

This article is part of our Real Business Broadband campaign, which seeks to provide a mouthpiece for business leaders to vocalise the broadband issues preventing their businesses from reaching full potential. We’d love to hear your take on the debate and where you think the UK needs to make drastic changes. Get in touch via email (shane.schutte@realbusiness.co.uk) or join in on the action using #rbBroadband.

Image: Shutterstock

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About Author

Shané Schutte

Shané Schutte is a senior reporter at Real Business, with a particular specialism in employment and business law, human resources, information technology and sales/marketing.

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