Early cancellation policies are often put in place by
broadband advisors to ensure the high initial cost of supplying a
connection is reclaimed. The fees are generally the total of your
remaining monthly payments, however some can be as high as £625.
Unfortunately, this also means that customers having a bad
experience with their provider are forced to keep using a poor
service in order to avoid paying the fees.
Citizens Advice recently analysed 3,300 internet and
broadband problems reported in England and Wales, and found 1 in 5
problems were about cancellations and withdrawal. These included a
man in his 70s who was charged over £200 for trying to cancel a
service that had stopped working all together and a woman who was
hit with a cancellation fee despite her service being so slow she
frequently had to use a local internet cafe.
The UK watchdog is now calling for all broadband providers
to stop issuing cancellation fees to customers with "persistent"
problems. Improved customer service surrounding the issue was also
called for, along with more care of which fees are passed over to
debt collection agencies.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice,
People are finding themselves held captive by bad
broadband services. Some consumers who have stood up to problem
suppliers have found themselves being punished for switching when
they've been hit with a cancellation fee that is then passed over
to a debt collection agency.
Internet service providers must not shackle customers
seeking a better service with unreasonable fees that can turn into
shock debt. All internet users need to be able to easily have a way
out of inadequate contracts and broadband speeds that only give
them daily frustration.
For a better understanding of your rights when
you switch providers, why not call our switching support service?
Just call 0800
542 4704 free for all the information you need to
switch to a better broadband service.