Around four million customers in the UK are likely to be paying too much for their broadband and 1.5 million could be overpaying for their mobiles, according to new data from the telecoms regulator.
Research published in Ofcom’s annual report on pricing trends says 46% of households with standard up-to-17Mb speed broadband are out of contract, as are 32% which have faster fibre broadband.
It also found 1.5 million mobile customers whose contract included paying for a handset are continuing to pay the same price after their contract ends.
Many broadband and mobile providers offer low monthly prices for the duration of your contract – but once you’re beyond the minimum term it’s highly likely you’re overpaying.
If you’re out of contract, check now if you can save by switching using our Broadband Unbundled tool.
How much can my broadband bill increase?
To give you an idea of how much prices can change once you’re out of contract, here’s what some of the big providers charge when your minimum term’s up:
It’s worth comparing these prices to our top pick deals. Currently Plusnet is offering the cheapest standard speed broadband and line rental at equivalent to £13.33/mth (if you claim a £50 Mastercard and pay for line rental upfront). It’s an equivalent £15.83/mth if you choose to pay it monthly. For fibre broadband our top pick deal is Vodafone’s up-to-38Mb speed fibre broadband for £20/mth.
If you’ve not changed your broadband provider or haggled with your current provider in the last 12 months, the likelihood is you’re paying up to three times too much for your broadband and line rental.
Use our Broadband Unbundled tool to help you find the cheapest deal available to you based on your postcode.
Our tool can also factor in TV deals and calculate whether it’s best to get all the services from the same provider. Alternatively if you’re happy with your current provider, telecoms providers are amongst the easiest to haggle with. See our guide on how to haggle.
What about mobile bills?
When it comes to mobile phone contracts you usually pay for the cost of the handset and airtime for the duration of your contract, but once it ends you’ll continue to pay the same price – despite having already paid for the handset.
Most of these contracts last for 24 months, so if you took out a handset and airtime mobile phone contract over 24 months ago and you’ve not changed your contract, you’re almost definitely overpaying.
If you’re happy with your current network, see our guide on Mobile Phone Haggling.
What does Ofcom say?
Commenting on the findings, Lindsey Fussell, Ofcoms consumer group director, said: “Ofcom is taking action to help people take full advantage of the choice and value available in the market.
“We are focusing initially on end-of-contract notifications whereby providers would proactively inform customers when they are approaching or at the end of their minimum contract period.
“We are also looking at the issue of mobile customers continuing to pay the same price after the end of their minimum contract period, where this price reflects the cost of their mobile handset.”