Half of UK broadband users have never switched to an alternative Internet service provider (ISP), according to a new survey by Cable.co.uk.
The online comparison site surveyed 2,000 broadband customers and also found that 43 per cent of those that have changed provider have done so only once. Just eight per cent have switched four or more times.
Cable editor-in-chief Dan Howdle says that even if switching provider can result in a far better service, many customers are reluctant to change.
"For one, most existing providers have retentions departments populated by an army of staff dedicated to talking us out of leaving. Most of the time that means either offering us a better broadband deal, escalating our problem or complaint, or both,” he said.
"Then there's the hassle of choosing a new provider, of installing new equipment, and the fear that there may be a period, however short, during which we have no internet access at home. And we worry that after going through all of that, there's a chance our new service will be worse somehow.”
Mr Howdle added that, for the most part, these fears have no basis in reality and are used by ISPs in order to convince existing customers to stay put. Ultimately, broadband users should shop around to make sure they’re getting the fastest, most reliable and cost effective service available to them.
The results of the survey should concern all the UK’s broadband customers as this level of inertia enables providers to become complacent, resulting in a lower quality service for all concerned.
However, the process of switching your broadband and mobile provider could become a lot easier in the coming months after communications regulator Ofcom announced that it will implement a “provider led” approach to help consumers make informed choices more easily.