More than three quarters of people decided not to switch their broadband provider last year — despite half admitting they are unhappy with their service.
New research from the independent price comparison and switching website Switcher.ie found that more than one in four (28%) broadband users have never changed provider.
The research shows that, for those who do switch, the cost and speed of broadband are the two biggest factors at play, with price being the main reason influencing people’s decisions to switch (33%), followed by broadband speed (21%). Some 15% of households are driven to switch due to their data allowance. Switcher.ie said this figure likely to increase in the months ahead as new services become available.
One in five (20%) people with broadband at home have a standalone broadband product while the same amount has broadband, TV, and home phone with the one provider.
The price comparison service said the continuing failure of many households to recognise the value of switching means that they miss out on essential savings to be made from a raft of new broadband offerings recently introduced into the Irish market by a range of broadband suppliers.
Managing director of Switcher.ie Eoin Clarke said while Irish people are beginning to switch in other areas, broadband remains an area where households tend to stay with the same provider.
“Broadband is seen as an essential utility for most but the cost can add up to a small fortune each month. If you haven’t switched providers in a while then you’re not alone. Our research found over three quarters of people didn’t switch their broadband provider last year, and more than a quarter have never changed their broadband provider.
“While we’re getting the hang of switching some home essentials like car insurance when it comes to broadband, people are nowhere near as proactive. Regular price rises and higher bills following introductory offers have meant rising costs for broadband users who don’t switch regularly,” he said.
Mr Clarke advised consumers there were “no prizes for loyalty” and that switching can save households considerable amounts of money.
“There are no prizes for loyalty. Broadband users who take the time to switch provider or tariff can save hundreds of euro a year. Given the amount and variety of packages in the market, there is huge scope for people to shop around and find a deal that really suits their needs. This could mean a cheaper plan, faster broadband speed, a bigger data allowance, or a combination of these things. Customers may also want to consider bundling their broadband with TV and home phone, as bundling your services can save you up to €300 per year,” he said.
Last month, the Department of Communications, Energy, and Natural Resources confirmed that the €275m National Broadband Plan, which promised to deliver high-speed broadband to 750,000 homes and businesses by 2020, will not start as planned this year.
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