Broadband customers could be saving an average of £120 a year by haggling with their current provider or switching to a new one but almost half have never even tried, a new survey has found.
Nearly half (45%) of consumers had never contacted their current provider to try to negotiate a better deal, two in five (38%) had never switched provider and another quarter (24%) had not switched for more than three years, according to a survey of 5,000 people by consumer group Which?.
For most people, haggling yielded great results with more than three-quarters (78%) of those who tried being offered an incentive, discount or a better deal on their broadband.
And shopping around can pay off as many providers reserve the best deals for new customers and may allow the rates of existing customers to go up, so switching to a new one could mean even bigger savings.
Natalie Hitchins, Which? head of home products and services, said: “Many of us obediently pay our bills throughout the year without ever giving it a second thought but just one phone call or online chat could save you £120 this Christmas.
“There are bigger savings to be had for those willing to switch to a new provider, but even if you are happy where you are, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount – it could make all the difference.”
Haggling over broadband might seem like too much hassle but among those who had tried it, over half (52%) found it easy with only a quarter (27%) saying it was difficult.
Changing providers was even easier for most people with 71% describing the process as easy, even though 27% experienced time without an internet connection as a result.
According to Which? switching is simple. Most customers will only need to contact one provider – the company they are moving to – and it will take care of the switch.
This is known as gaining provider-led switching and works for all the providers using the Openreach network, includes most prominent broadband providers such as BT, EE, Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen Internet.
Which? said those switching to or from a separate network go through a different process where the customer asks the previous provider to switch the old connection off and then co-ordinates the move to the new provider themselves.
Next year, communications regulator Ofcom is due to consult on changes to the switching process with hopes of making the process of moving from one provider to another much easier for consumers.