When we surveyed more than 3,000 TV and broadband customers, nearly half told us they had always been with the same provider – and this wasn’t only limited to new customers, it was also true of those who’d had a TV and broadband deal for more than three years.
Given that TV and broadband deals can cost over £100 each month, you’d hope that people staying put are doing so because they are satisfied with their service. But when we asked why people hadn’t made a switch, less than third said it was because they were happy with their provider.
Here we take a look at the other top reasons people gave for staying with their provider and explore why they could be holding you back from getting a better deal.
Read our round-up of the best and worst TV and broadband providers for 2021 to see which came out on top.
TV and Broadband Packages are now a lot more flexible
The most common reason we were given for customers sticking with a provider for long periods was satisfaction with the TV and broadband package on offer. It’s true that what’s included in TV and broadband packages can differ substantially by provider – particularly when it comes to premium channels such as Sky Sports, BT Sport and Sky Atlantic.
In fact, another 13% of customers told us they hadn’t switched because they didn’t want to lose particular TV channels. But, the pay TV landscape has changed substantially in recent years. For example, it’s now possible to get Sky Sports via Virgin Media, BT Sport via TalkTalk and Sky Atlantic via BT.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Virgin Media customers were particularly likely to have stuck with their provider for a long period – 62% had been with Virgin Media for more than three years. This may be because Virgin Media often offers the fastest speeds available to those customers who can access its fibre network. But it’s worth keeping an eye on what is available in your area – faster broadband speeds are gradually becoming more available from providers like BT, Sky and TalkTalk, courtesy of the full fibre roll out on the Openreach network.
Read more about the benefits of fibre broadband to see how it’s not just about faster speeds.
You’ll probably save money
Some 19% of respondents told us they hadn’t switched simply because they hadn’t come across a deal better than the one they are on. If you’re in this boat, it’s worth further exploration – particularly if you’re one of the customers who have stuck with the same provider for years.
We found that just over a quarter of those who have been with their provider for a year or less pay more than £60 for a deal. But this nearly doubles for those who have been with the same provider for more than three years, with around half paying more than £60 each month.
If you’re out of contract, you’re particularly likely to be paying more than you need to – it’s common for the big providers to increase prices as soon as fixed term contracts end.
Tech tips you can trust – get our free Tech newsletter for advice, news, deals and stuff the manuals don’t tell you.
Switching is easier than you think
For 24% of those who have never switched TV and broadband provider, the process simply feels like too much hassle. Another 14% told us they felt switching is too complicated.
It’s fair to say that switching TV and broadband provider is a little trickier than picking a new standalone service – but finding the best deal is usually the hardest step. If a switch is likely to save money, it’s worth exploring – and you may find it’s more straightforward than you expect.
When we asked customers who have recently switched how they found the process, nearly two thirds said switching provider was easy. The same number were also satisfied with the amount of time it took from making their order to having the service available at home.
Starting a new TV and broadband service with some providers will require an engineer visit – the major providers have all put health and safety procedures in place since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic to ensure these visits are safe.
If you’re mulling a switch, our guide on how to get the best TV package will help you weigh up the key considerations.
Loyalty doesn’t pay
A surprising number – some 18% – told us that their reason for sticking with their TV and broadband provider was a sense of loyalty.
There’s a strong risk that this loyalty is misplaced – year after year, our surveys show that longstanding customers are the most likely to be paying high amounts for their deals. Now, as well as charging out of contract customers more, it’s become common for the major providers to include annual price rises in their deals.
While switching won’t generally help you avoid annual price rises, it is a way of ensuring you’re paying a reasonable amount for your broadband deal in the first place. If loyalty binds you to stick with your provider, consider contacting them to check you’re not paying more than you should when your contract ends.
For tips on how to get started, read our guide on how to haggle with your broadband provider.
Which? Switch can help you find a great deal on broadband, TV and on your next mobile phone. Check the best mobile phone contract and Sim-only deals, and best broadband and TV deals to see how much you could save.