There have been recent reports that due to confusing price structuring and our own busy lives, we often pay more per capita for bad broadband when we’re out of contract than when we’re in the agreements we initially ordered. In this article, we take a look at why this may be happening to you and what you can do about this.
Time to Take A Look At Your Service 👀🔍
Comparison and switching service Uswitch.com recently unveiled new research highlighting that UK home broadband users collectively overpay on their contracts by £804m per year when a simple provider switch could deliver more for less. A simple online search can reward broadband users with better speeds at better pricing, saving them hard-earned pounds and pence while delivering a faster, more reliable broadband connection for all their devices.
The question is, if it’s so easy to switch provider why do so many of us not? The short answer is that there is a lack of consumer knowledge which leads to confusion when it comes time to make the switch which with our lives becoming more complicated and busier, are not considerations we want to think about at any length.
But fear not, help is here. To arm you better when your contract comes to an end we’ve highlighted some key considerations to take into account when switching.
Consumer Trends 📈
The smart gadget fuelled Christmas we’ve just had, with 83% of us gifting digital devices, puts further strain on current copper-based broadband technology, (which at an average download speed of 67Mbps here in Henley is already struggling) meaning we as a nation are connecting more devices than we realise. Count how many devices you have connected to your broadband; laptops, PS5’s, smart TVs are the obvious candidates. But don’t forget the less obvious items, from Alexa’s, Amazon Fire TV stick, smart alarm clocks, Google Home, iPads and tablets and so many more. More than you initially thought, right?
And think back, since you accumulated these devices have you noticed your broadband beginning to struggle? It’s not just you, your whole street has the same devices, we as a nation are collectively shifting towards smart homes that require high-speed broadband to operate at their best (and not end up being regifted).
An old Network Majority 🌐
It’s not just our bank accounts suffering, the struggle is physical as it’s not just your devices draining broadband but also the infrastructure you depend on not being fit for 21st century living. The broadband network connecting your home could be, like a majority of Great Britain, connected by technology from the 19th century (designed for phone calls and telegrams, not facetime).
While a greater understanding of just what we have connected in our homes is growing, even with this taken into account, one-fifth of UK home broadband users have never switched their provider (Uswitch.com). This is despite customers whose contracts had expired reportedly paying an average of £90💸 more than they need to per year (Uswitch.com). That’s right, one-fifth of us Brits overpay for underperforming broadband services and that could be you.
Our march towards the smart home of the future has the consequence of smarter devices draining more of your limited broadband as networks have not kept up with the pace of technology. Smarter devices also demand more bandwidth to optimise their own device performance. Alongside this, the switch to a majority of us working from home means the focus on our home connections makes it more important than ever to switch supplier to one that can support you and your smart home devices.
A Lockdown Diversion – Education and Entertainment 🔒
Research published by British Telecommunications firm BT has found that the amount of time families spend on their smartphones browsing social media reached new heights during the first two lockdowns, increasing by 150% since March 2020. 75% of those questioned said they had spent more time than ever on the internet during the pandemic. This includes data-heavy video calls, working from home, home-schooling and downtime streaming movies and boxsets. Alongside social media, these have been key methods for people to connect with loved ones, colleagues, friends and family.
The problem is that the 75% of people spending more time on the internet during the pandemic are your neighbours working from home, teaching from home, doing everything that you do and, through no fault of their own, slowing down your connection. This leads to the old 6 pm drop off becoming an all-day, daily occurrence for many households. The broadband service that you currently have is likely provided by a network (like BT, TalkTalk, Sky or Vodaphone) shared by your neighbours so regardless of the service you’re paying for if everyone is using their broadband at the same time you will all suffer slower speeds. Your neighbours are lovely people but do you want your work conference calls glitching because they’re on Facetime to a few friends and their kids are gaming on the broadband guzzling PS5?
For homes and businesses experiencing these crowded connections, glitches, dropouts and slow loading times have provided added frustrations to an already intense lockdown world. Trying to connect with colleagues, leads, customers or bosses means you need a human connection, being able to read the people on the video through their human behaviour and reactions. Without these, you don’t connect, you don’t communicate, and you don’t come across as ‘real’. Switching broadband suppliers to one that uses a brand-new network with more data capacity to handle your homes ever-growing need for speed is becoming a necessity for many to succeed.
A Question of Confidence ❓
The recent Uswitch.com research further revealed that five million households out of contract with their current broadband supplier are deterred from switching because they don’t feel confident in the process. It’s good news then that 49% of consumers who have switched in the last 18 months found the whole process easier than they had expected (Uswitch.com). The largest worry reported, with just over a third of consumers responding, was the fear of losing broadband connection for at least 1 day. With a majority of 2020 moving work and education into the home (and the precedent for 2021 looking unlikely to change), it’s no surprise that broadband connection loss even for a couple of hours is not an option customers wish to consider. On the flip side, three-quarters of households surveyed that had switched reported little or no loss of connection in the process of switching broadband providers. It’s a sobering thought to read in the same report consumers whose broadband contracts have ended for an average of 19 months unknowingly pay £149 over the cost of the original service they purchased than their in-contract neighbours.
Ofcom is working on a new proposal to make switching broadband suppliers even easier. Lindsey Fussel of Ofcom says “Making things easier for consumers will become especially important in the future… so consumers can move to next-generation services with minimal fuss.”
You Don’t Have to Pay the Price For Brand Confusion 💸
For those ready to make the jump, and switch provider, it will come as a sour note to realise that many broadband providers simply share the same BT network under different brand names. The confusion is increased when they use terms such as FTTC or Fibre. This is not Full Fibre directly to a home or business but what is a case of industry misleading communication and ‘fake fibre’. This ‘Fibre’ broadband is a fibre connection to the green box at the end of your street, then delivering to you home through shared copper wires along your street. This ‘same old network’ provides you with the same connectivity issues experienced with your previous providers. We’re talking slow connections, call dropouts, loading wheels, and pretty poor Wi-Fi. Yes, this is the same circumstance as we spoke of earlier with your neighbour on Facetime and you struggling on a work conference call.
The issues many of us suffer from are caused by a broadband service that can be easily replaced, especially in Henley-on-Thames and other market towns that have a Full Fibre network. There’s no need to put up with bad service when there’s no contract stopping a switch to fabulous Full Fibre broadband, like Zzoomm.
A Real Solution At Hand 🙌
The power to have the best is in your hands. If you’re out of contract and living with bad broadband it’s time to stop waiting, paying more and suffering. It’s time to make the change to a Full Fibre solution. It’s time to forget old copper for good and like your devices and home, move to the 21st century. Switching to Zzoomm is one way you can take the steps to a faster and better value broadband provider. Signing up for a 12-month contract provides a service with incredible value for money and broadband that delivers a connection almost 30 times faster than Henley’s average.
Say goodbye 👋 to overpaying and switch on value, switch on speedy service and switch on Zzoomm even easier than we make it seem below:
Call ☎️ 03333 119909 to order or check your postcode below and order online 💻