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31 Jul 2019

The top five reasons people leave their broadband provider

Contemplating a move? Find out what drove others to pick a new provider

Our broadband satisfaction survey reveals that customers of the biggest providers aren't satisfied with the broadband service they receive. Yet when we surveyed more than 8,000 broadband customers, we found that only around half had ever switched.

So we asked those who had switched what it was that enticed them to take the plunge. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people were most likely to switch when they were offered a better deal than the one they had been on. But this was only the case for around a quarter of people. Read on to discover the other reasons for moving to a new supplier.

Use our overview of the best (and worst) broadband providers of 2019 to find one that ticks all of your boxes.

'I was offered a better deal by a new provider'

Nearly a quarter of those who had switched did so because they found a better deal with a new provider. With contract prices typically going up by around 20% at the end of an introductory period, it's not too surprising that many customers are on the hunt for a cheaper tariff.

Customers departing Zen Internet were most likely to switch away for this reason: 40% of those who had left the provider said it was because they'd found a better deal elsewhere.

EE, TalkTalk and Post Office were the providers most likely to benefit here. Around four in ten of those who had switched to these three providers had done so because better deals were on offer.

If you've been with your provider for a long period, you're likely to be paying more than people who have switched regularly. Compare broadband in your area with Which? Switch Broadband to find the best deals where you live and see how much you could save.

'I experienced poor customer service'

18% of switchers moved providers after experiencing poor customer service. This number doubles for TalkTalk customers, with 37% of those who ditched their provider doing so because of customer service issues.

But TalkTalk wasn't the only one that received poor ratings for customer service in our survey. Our broadband provider reviews reveal how it stacked up against the other biggest providers in the UK.

Zen Internet was the provider most likely to benefit from people growing of customer service issues - 37% of those who switched had moved for this reason. Around 25% of those switching to SSE and Utility Warehouse had also ditched past providers due to disappointing customer service.

'The price increased'

Price hikes drove 12% of respondents away from their provider, although the figure rose to 18% for those quitting BT, and 20% for ex-Sky customers.

If your provider announces that it's putting prices up, you have the right to switch - even if you're still within the minimum terms of your contract.

If you're happy with your provider, there's another way you can avoid price rises: haggling. This can sound daunting, but the majority of those who try negotiating with their provider are successful - and most say it's easy too. For a step-by-step guide on how to do it, read our tips on how to haggle for the best broadband deal.

'The broadband was very slow'

This was the reason 9% of respondents switched, although it was much more of an issue for customers leaving Post Office Broadband: 19% of those who departed did so due to slow speeds.

Where do customers with sluggish broadband go? Virgin Media, usually, as 32% of those who had switched to the provider said they'd done so seeking faster speeds.

Virgin Media is the only major provider with its own cable network, which means it's able to offer ultrafast speeds in more locations than other providers, where speeds of 100Mbps or greater are limited to certain parts of the country. Do you really need speeds this high? Read our guide on broadband speeds to find out.

'There were connection problems'

Connection problems drove 7% of respondents away from their provider, although this figure doubled for customers leaving Vodafone and EE.

In April, Ofcom introduced automatic compensation to help those that suffer long internet outages. If your connection isn't fixed within two working days, you will receive £8-a-day compensation paid as a refund on your next bill if your provider is signed up to the voluntary scheme.

To check whether your connection problems are down to a large-scale outage, use our round-up of broadband provider contacts.