Which? is urging UK households to consider switching broadband and energy providers this September, as new research from the consumer champion reveals they could save up almost £300 a year on their bills.
This autumn, many consumers will be looking to get their finances in order, especially with the energy price cap level set to rise and the furlough scheme ending in less than a month.
Which? found that consumers who review their broadband and energy bills could switch to avoid overpaying by around £90 and £200 a year respectively.
The consumer champion found the average monthly bill for UK broadband customers is £33.77, however customers could save £89 a year if they switched to a superfast introductory deal which cost, on average, £26.34 a month.
Which? found Sky broadband customers pay £37.32 a month, on average, but could save £131.76 a year if they switched to an introductory deal. On average BT customers pay £36.30 a month and could save £119.52, while TalkTalk customers pay £28.98 a month and could save £31.86 a year.
Virgin Media customers could save the most by switching, as they have the highest average monthly bill out of the big four providers at £41.68. Virgin Media only supplies fibre broadband and more of its customers will be accessing ultrafast speeds, however with the average cost of introductory deals for ultrafast broadband at £29.34, customers that switch could save £143.64 a year.
Virgin Media customers should also consider switching providers for better connection and service. The broadband provider finished 13th out of 14 providers ranked in Which?’s broadband satisfaction survey with a low customer score of 53 per cent, receiving poor ratings for connection reliability, customer service and value for money.
Recent Ofcom figures also revealed Virgin Media was the most complained about broadband provider in the first three months of 2021. Virgin Media told Which? that since Ofcom collected its data it has made a number of improvements to its customer service and has seen complaints decrease significantly.
Consumers should consider switching energy tariffs this September ahead of the energy price cap rising to £1,277 in October, which will see bills increase by £139 for 11 million direct debit customers on default tariffs using a medium amount of gas and electricity.
While there is a dwindling number of cheap energy deals on the market, Which? analysis found customers could save £207 compared to the new price cap level, if they switch to the cheapest fixed tariff available at £1,070.
Many consumers may be put off switching broadband or energy providers as they believe the process can be a hassle, however Which? research found two-thirds of broadband (66%) and four in five (86%) energy customers found it easy.
Which?’s broadband and energy price comparison sites offer a free and impartial way to find the cheapest deals on the market and has helped more than 100,000 households switch to a better deal.
Lisa Barber, Which? Home Products and Services Editor, said:
“Consumers should not have to pay more than they need to for essential services such as broadband and energy, and with many households facing an energy bill hike due to the price cap change, now is the ideal time to consider switching these services.
“Our research shows switching could result in savings of £300 a year, and it can be a straightforward process if you use a price comparison website to find the cheapest deals. Anyone looking to save money this autumn should not hesitate.”
Notes to editor:
On behalf of Which?, Savanta conducted an online survey of 4,478 UK adults with a broadband service in January 2021. Data includes a nationally representative sample and a provider boost. Respondents were asked how much they pay for broadband packages – this nationally representative figure was used to calculate the average monthly tariffs paid by broadband customers across the UK.
Which? also analysed the cheapest introductory offers available from 14 of the UK’s biggest broadband providers to calculate the average price of a superfast introductory deal (with average speeds of 50-67Mbps) which is £26.34 and the average price for ultrafast (≥100Mbps) introductory deals which is £29.71. Correct as of 01.09.21. To calculate a saving figure, it compared the average monthly cost paid by customers against the average cost of an introductory deal.
The average monthly cost paid across all customers surveyed was £33.77, meaning a potential annual saving of £89.16 per year based on customers switching to a new superfast deal.
Please see below potential savings for customers with the big four providers:
Average monthly bill
*As Virgin Media offers speeds from 50Mbps to 1000 Mbps Which? compared its average tariff against the average cost of introductory deals for ultrafast broadband.
Energy saving figure is the difference between the cheapest tariff and the price cap from 1st October. Based on a medium user (using Ofgem averages of 2,900kWh electricity and 12,000kWh gas per year), paying by fixed direct debit, with paperless bills. The pricing data is from Energylinx and correct on 31 August 2021. Prices are averages across all GB regions and rounded to the nearest whole pound.
According to Ofgem, there are 11 million households on default or variable tariffs on credit meters who are subject to the price cap. More info here: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/record-gas-prices-drive-price-cap-ps139-customers-encouraged-contact-supplier-support-and-switch-better-deal-if-possible
Customers looking for cheaper energy deals can compare deals with Which? Switch, a transparent and impartial way to compare energy tariffs and find the best gas and electricity supplier for you. It displays all available tariffs for providers, big and small, even if Which? doesn’t currently have a commercial switching agreement with them.
Which? Switch Broadband helps customers check they’re on the best broadband deal for them – speed, reliability, customer service and price.
Which? is the UK’s consumer champion, here to make life simpler, fairer and safer for everyone. Our research gets to the heart of consumer issues, our advice is impartial, and our rigorous product tests lead to expert recommendations. We’re the independent consumer voice that influences politicians and lawmakers, investigates, holds businesses to account and makes change happen. As an organisation we’re not for profit and all for making consumers more powerful.
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