back to article Brit ISPs pinky-promise not to overcharge loyal broadband customers

Following an Ofcom review of broadband pricing, a bunch of British ISPs have promised to allow loyal customers access to better deals once their contracts end. The regulator found 40 per cent of broadband customers are currently "out of contract", while punters who sign a new deal with their provider could typically pay £8 to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd rather pay a few quid extra *out* of contract ...

    than get a discount which is effectively a trojan contract (looks at Virgin).

    Then I can walk whenever I want.

    1. LeahroyNake Silver badge

      Re: I'd rather pay a few quid extra *out* of contract ...

      Virgin are really bad for that, sign up for a new contract and it's very slightly cheaper per month but you are then stuck with them for another 12,24 maybe 36 months with the first price increase 31 days after you agree.

      Oh you can get out of it but there is an early exit fee (sales person bends over, pulls out a price and sees what they can get away with and still get a commission).

      I moved to an area that virgin couldn't supply coax to. They tried charging me around £150 because they had to call out a BT engineer to fix an issue in the exchange as they reported it as an issue in my property. BT didn't get past the front door. Fekkin useless.

      At least ofcom are trying protect the vulnerable, I'm getting on a bit ;)

  2. TeeCee Gold badge
    Black Helicopters

    Cunning OFCOM, very cunnning.

    Threaten to 'do something' about rising broadband costs, forcing ISPs to club together and keep prices down.

    Then do the lot of 'em for operating as a cartel....

    1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

      Re: Cunning OFCOM, very cunnning.

      "keep prices down [...] operating as a cartel...."

      That's not how a cartel usually operates.

  3. simonlb Silver badge
    FAIL

    'allow loyal customers access to better deals once their contracts end'

    And everything about that sentence is wrong. When your contract period with an ISP runs out, they should automatically put you on the best available tariff for the package you are on, and it will be reviewed on an annual basis to check you are still on the best tariff. You should not have to contact your ISP to ask them if they can do you a better deal, they should just do it as a matter of course. The regulator should not be asking them to do it, it should be telling them they have to do it, otherwise they will be hit with financial penalties (big ones too) or even loss of their license.We are customers, not product, so they should treat us with some respect.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 'allow loyal customers access to better deals once their contracts end'

      And everything about that sentence is wrong. When your contract period with an ISP runs out, they should automatically put you on the best available tariff for the package you are on

      Way of the World unfortunately, just like supermarkets always put the cheapest stuff on the bottom shelf and the most expensive at eye level

      You should not have to contact your ISP to ask them if they can do you a better deal, they should just do it as a matter of course

      No, no, no, no. It's not worth ten. You're supposed to argue, 'Ten for that? You must be mad!' Ohh, well. One born every minute.

  4. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    And how do I swap

    And more to the point .. what do I swap to!

    Currently on vermin media..... gear is fairly reliable and upto 200 meg (i get a rock solid 70 because thats all I need), or swap to some openretch provided ISP that promises me anything to get a sign up with a "prices may(will go up) during contract" clause with a chance I'll get a worse service than I do now......

    1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

      Re: And how do I swap

      If you're satisfied with the service and don't have non-Openreach FTTP providers (CityFibre, Hyperoptic...) in your area, then I'm afraid you'll find little incentive to switch.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For rural customers it's all openreach anyway

    Living in a rural area there is no other network that hits my village. We've now got fibre to the village, ever since the new cabinets appeared I've had intermittent connection issues. I'm happy with the 30MBps I get on broadband but the frustration of everything stopping for 2 or 3 minutes several times a day it getting too me. especially as my wife signed the contract BT sent us to renew 16 months ago and We've ended up on stupidly expensive tariff. I cant get an improved service by switching but at least I can get a crap service cheaper.

  6. Big_Boomer Bronze badge

    RipOff

    I'm currently in the middle of moving from Sky to Virgin. V finally cabled our estate so I can finally get it. For the first year they are charging £50 less than Sky currently charge for much slower broadband, the same TV channels, and a less inclusive phone service. £50 a month is a substantial reduction and shows just how much these companies are ripping everyone off. Next year, when the 12 month contract is up, I will be negotiating with V to get a similar contract and if I can't get it I'll look at what the others are offering.

    In the last 2 years Sky have raised the cost of my TV/Phone/Broadband bundle several times with each increase being one part of the bundle. These are "stealth" rises as £2 to £5 per month is not a big deal, until you realise that cumulatively it's gone from £75 to £105 per month in under 2 years for exactly the same service. That's a 40% increase when the RPI has gone up 5% over the same period.

    The TV/Phone/Broadband market seems to now operate the same as the insurance market. Offer a low first year contract, then ratchet up the prices each year on renewal. Now that I can get any of the 3 big bundle providers, I will be choosing the best offer each year as I don't really care which one I use. If they want "brand loyalty" then they need to stop ripping off their existing customers. Loyalty is a 2 way street.

  7. Lee D Silver badge

    I refuse to enter into a long-term contract for anything.

    Unlocked mobile, purchased outright.

    Pay Monthly SIM.

    Unlocked 4G router, purchased outright.

    Pay Monthly Unlimited Data SIM.

    Routed through a Draytek wireless router to cover the whole house, or slipped into a pocket when I'm out and about so I don't have to use some pub's insecure wifi.

    I do not get the fascination with giving some company money for doing nothing more than "saving up" on your behalf, nor with tying yourself into a commitment with a company that - at that point - you have no idea the quality of service that you will receive. Hell, I have to think twice about whether or not I should pay Amazon Prime over a year or each month (hint: Unless you pay interest at more than 37% APR, it's cheaper to buy annually than monthly over the course of a year).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Options

      Can you tell us which draytek router that is, which is portable and carry it to the pub?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OFCOM has been had

    Why is the implementation starting only next year? Whats stopping them enforcing it now ? Telcos will get a chance to screw many more over this delay (by increasing prices) and binding them for a 2 year period.

    So financially, they are more than covered for a while. They are all rascals.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not to "overcharge"

    But charge more than new customers ? Grammatically correct. So they can charge more ! How clever.

    And how do you define overcharge versus charge more?

  10. mark l 2 Silver badge

    People need to learn how to gain the system to get a better deal, I have never paid the renewal price for broadband, I either look for a cheaper deal with another ISP and move or phone the cancellations dept for my existing ISP and tell them I want to cancel, and they usually bend over backwards to beat any other prices you have got, throw in extra TV channels etc.

    I have no loyalty to any big companies whose only interest is lining the pockets of shareholders, only small business who offer a good service deserve my repeat custom.

  11. mr-slappy

    Zen

    Or go with Zen Broadband who have the same rate for everyone.

    https://www.zen.co.uk/broadband/superfast-fibre-broadband

    (not associated with Zen other than as a long-standing and very happy customer)

  12. Andrew Jones 2

    To be fair, when I reached the end of my BT Business contract, I renewed (once I realised that being out on contract was not the same as a just being on a rolling contract and the same price as I was previously paying - sneaky BT, very sneaky) - and got the exact same package at a much reduced cost. I was previously paying around £76 per month (including £5 for a static IP - do NOT get me started), I'm now paying around £51 a month for the SAME package and it includes the same static IP for free.

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