Our survey of over 3,000 TV and broadband customers showed that many of us are sticking with a provider despite not being particularly satisfied with the service we’re receiving. More than half of those we surveyed have always been with the same provider.
So we asked the customers who had switched providers what it was that ultimately motivated them to move away. Perhaps unsurprisingly, price rises came out on top – read on to find out the three other key reasons.
If any of these feel familiar, it’s worth considering whether you could benefit from a switch, too.
Read our round up of the best and worst TV and broadband providers for 2021 to see which came out on top
‘My price increased’
A letter announcing that the price of your deal is going up is never welcome, but for nearly a quarter of switchers it was a price hike that ultimately made them switch away from their old provider.
Customers who had departed Sky and Virgin Media were the most likely to have been driven away by price hikes – some 29% of customers who had left Sky and 28% of those who’d left Virgin Media said it was because of a price rise.
If your provider surprises you with an announcement that it’s putting the price of your TV and broadband deal up by an amount greater than inflation, Ofcom rules state that you must be given the right to switch to a different provider – even if you’re still within the minimum terms of your contract.
If you’re out of contract, you’re free to switch at any time – and it’s worth exploring, because you’re almost certainly paying over the odds for your deal; our analysis has shown that the major providers increase prices for out-of-contract customers by as much as 80%.
‘I was offered a better deal’
One in six of those who switched told us they’d done so simply because they were offered a better deal from a new provider.
The longer you’ve been with your TV and broadband provider, the more likely there’s a saving to be made elsewhere. 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 – a figure that nearly doubled for those who have been with the same provider for more than three years, with around half paying more than £60 each month.
Plusnet TV and broadband customers were the most likely to have left in search of a better deal – 25% gave this reason (compared to 17% of switchers overall), but it was also the case for 23% of those who left BT.
Changes to the TV and broadband market mean it’s now possible to get most of the popular premium television channels from multiple providers, and more and more are also offering high speed broadband options where it’s available.
If you’ve been with the same provider for some time, it’s worth double-checking that you can’t do better by switching. Compare TV and broadband deals using Which? Switch Broadband to find what’s available in your area.
Tech tips you can trust – get our free Tech newsletter for advice, news, deals and stuff the manuals don’t tell you
‘I had slow broadband or connection problems’
For some 12% of those we surveyed, slow broadband was the thing that ultimately drove them away from their old provider – while another 9% cited problems with their connection.
These were bigger issues for customers departing EE and TalkTalk – in both cases, 19% of ex-customers said they’d experienced slow speeds. Some 11% of TalkTalk customers and 10% of EE customers had experienced connection problems.
Connection problems had also been a deal-breaker for 13% of customers who’d departed Plusnet.
If you are experiencing difficulties with your connection, there are a few steps you can take before you contact your provider. Start off by running a broadband speed test to check how your connection compares to what your provider promised when you signed up.
If your speed is a lot lower that expected, follow our tips on how to speed up slow broadband to see if they help address the problem. If you’ve tried these and are regularly receiving slow speeds, you should ask your provider to fix it – especially if you’re stuck in a fixed term contract. Our guide on your rights if your broadband is slow or interrupted will help you get started.
But if you’re out of contract and have had enough of a sluggish connection or frequent drop outs, vote with your feet. If you’ve been with the same provider for more than two years, you’re likely to find it’ll also save you money.
‘I experienced poor customer service’
Customer service issues were most commonly a complaint of ex-TalkTalk customers – 16% of those who’d left did so because they’d experienced poor customer service, compared to 9% of customers overall.
TalkTalk was also awarded a subpar rating for customer service by its current customers – but it was only one of three major providers to receive a low score. Our TV and broadband provider reviews reveal how it stacked up against BT, EE, Sky and Virgin Media on everything from customer service, through to broadband speeds, quality of TV content and value for money.
Switching is easier than you think
While switching TV and broadband provider can feel more complicated than picking a new standalone service, the process isn’t usually difficult.
When we asked customers who had recently switched how they found the process, nearly two thirds said it was easy. The same number said they were satisfied with the amount of time it took between originally making their order to having their new service available at their home.
The first and trickiest step is likely to be finding the best deal – once you’ve chosen a new deal, your new provider will organise the switch in the majority of cases. Our guide on how to get the best TV package will help you weigh up the main considerations and get started.