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Fear of being without internet means Brits are missing out on average savings of £118 a year

THE fear of being without internet is common amongst todays digital-loving Brits, but the worry is so strong many homeowners are missing out on cheaper dealsby failing to switch providers.

Bynot switching, homeowners are missing out on an average saving of9.80 a month, or 118 a year, new research shows.

Homeowners could save hundreds by switching, but the fear of being without internet means most people wont budge

Our dependency on broadband means that only one in ten people have switched suppliers within the past year, while 22 per cent havent moved in more than five years.

More than a third of people have never switched provider, comparison site uSwitch.com found.

In its survey of 2,000 people, it also found that a third of broadband users who have experienced a period withoutinternet access when they tried moving providers in the past, say ithas put them off doing it again.

Of the 55 per cent of people who have reported being without broadband between providers, the average length of downtime was1.4 days.

One in ten report spending one to two weeks without broadband, while six per cent had to wait longer than three weeks.

Regionally, internet users in London wait the longest for broadband switch-on an average of 2.3 days, uSwitch.com found.

Despite the fact that some homeowners are switching broadband provider to chase a cheaper deal, many people are still missing out on huge savings by switching.

While the average switch saving is 118 a year, some people can save more than 240 a year, uSwith.com said.

How to complain if your broadband installation is delayed

Ewan Taylor-Gibson, broadband expert at uSwitch.com, said that broadband customers should generally allow around two weeks from the point of sale to get your new broadband installed.

However, if this is delayedand youre forced to live without internet for longer than expected,you should complain to the firm,initially via the companys customer services department.

If you want help with this, you can usea free tool to help you complain to the provider officially.

The tool is called Resolver and is independent and free-to-use. It will help youdraft your complaint and manage it, and escalate the issue to Ofcom if the broadband company isntresolving the issue.

Broadband
Broadband customers should generally allow around two weeks from the point of sale to get your new broadband installed

Taylor-Gibson said: Unless youre switching providers on the same existing line a transfer that can happen automatically on the same day there is often an element of physical installation involved.

There are a range of factors that can hold up the installation process such as if you need a new Openreach home phone line installed, or if youre signing up to Virgin and your property hasnt yet been connected to their cable network.These potential delays should be factored in when looking to switch.

He added thatthe main impetus should be on the industry to do better. He said: Providers should be striving to remove the pain caused to consumers by unplanned hold-ups, which currently act as a barrier to switching something Ofcom is currently looking at.

A system such as the introduction of automatic compensation could act as a solid incentive to encourage providers to work better at providing a more seamless switching service. Were hoping providers will be further held to account as a result of upcoming changes in the Governments Digital Economy Bill.


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