Survey: Consumers unsure of broadband price hikes
March 9, 2023
Nearly half (48 per cent) of UK consumers are concerned about price hikes and the small print of contracts they have signed up to due to the cost-of-living crisis. Research from Zen Internetreveals over a third (34 per cent) are unsure if they could experience a mid-contract price rise in their broadband contract.
The findings come as many providers will be adding the UK Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 9.2 per cent plus an additional margin to their customer’s monthly bills this spring.
Amidst record highs for the cost of living, consumers are concerned about increased outgoings, particularly when it comes to their household bills.
Surveying 2,000 UK adults, the research showed only 22 per cent of respondents are likely to read through their home insurance terms and conditions every time they renew, and even less (17 per cent) their broadband contract.
As a result, 28 per cent have been unaware of a mid-contract price rise clause in their services contract in the past with 21 per cent saying they received unexpected price increases in their broadband contract specifically.
Paul Stobart, CEO at Zen Internet, said: “The independent research shows that many consumers are in the dark about whether their broadband provider has any intention of increasing prices mid-contract. The truth is that many providers will be introducing price increases to contracted customers that are ahead of CPI. With CPI running at 9.2 per cent that amounts to a substantial additional burden in household budgets. Our industry unfortunately has a poor reputation for managing customer expectations and being transparent with communications, and introducing price rises mid-contract at a time when everyone is struggling with household bills will not improve matters.”
“The challenge for our industry is to do the right thing by customers and balance certainty of price for consumers on the one hand with the need to continue to invest in people and technology on the other. None of us in our industry is immune from the inflationary forces impacting supply chains and wages but we all recognise that customers need as fair a deal as we can offer. Zen’s response to this challenge for residential customers is the Contract Price Promise – a promise not to increase prices for the length of the contract period,” added Stobart.