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Ofcom: millions could save money on broadband and mobile contracts

New research shows how around four million broadband customers and one-and-a-half million mobile customers could stand to save

The latest research from Ofcom has shown that millions of UK consumers could be overspending on broadband and mobile contracts by not negotiating or switching provider.

Its latest annual report on pricing trends of phone, broadband and TV services in the UK highlights that there are still plenty of opportunities for customers to get better prices, and it points out that the best offers and discounts are often given by providers to new customers or those willing to haggle.

2018’s best broadband providers – find out who came top of our survey before you choose your next provider.

Save money on broadband

Ofcom estimates that around four million households with ‘standard’ or ‘ADSL’ broadband are outside their minimum contract period, which puts them in a prime position for switching or negotiating. What’s more, many of these customers could upgrade to a superfast fibre package for the same price, or perhaps even less.

For example, BT ADSL customers who are no longer receiving their promotional discount have seen price rises over the last two years, putting monthly bills at £42.99. By contrast, its superfast services start at £24.99 for new customers – a significant saving and a noticeable speed increase that could benefit those frustrated with poor performance.

If you’re still tied to a contract, make a note of exactly when it expires, and remember to keep your eyes peeled for a price increase if you come to the end of a promotional period. Our tips on how to haggle for the best broadband deal can help you maximise the chances of getting a great deal. No luck? Find out how to switch broadband provider.

Save money on a mobile phone contract

Similarly, Ofcom has found that mobile customers could be overpaying for a handset once their contract has expired. In fact around 1.5 million customers in the UK could find themselves in this position.

Mobile phone contracts are a little more confusing, in that they are split into both a handset repayment cost and the cost of bundled minutes and data. Once the handset is repaid (usually at the end of the initial contract period, which is often two years) the bill should be significantly reduced. However, some providers continue to charge the same price, including three of the UK’s biggest providers (EE, Three and Vodafone).

If you find that your bills haven’t gone down since your contract expired, it’s definitely time to haggle, and could be time to switch. Find out more in our guide to how to haggle for the best mobile phone deals.

And if you’re ready to switch mobile provider, see who we rated as the best mobile providers in the UK for 2018.

Loyal dog

Should you stay loyal to your provider?

One of the reasons people stick with providers, perhaps for longer than they should, is customer loyalty. Our own research has found that customers staying loyal to the same providers could be overpaying by up to £725 per year.

This includes potential savings of £120 for broadband and £72 for a mobile phone contract.

We also saw that haggling in these situations can be very effective. 77% of people who haggled on insurance or telecoms were offered some sort of incentive, with 74% receiving a fixed discount on their payments.

When you consider that providers can employ tactics to take advantage of those who don’t haggle or shop around, it shows how important it is to stay on top of opportunities to save and maximise value in the market.

As well as broadband and mobile, find out how to save money on your energy bills to make even more savings around the home.

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