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Why the #FreeToSwitch campaign is important

Isobel Lawrance 28th Apr 2022 No Comments

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Broadband provider Hyperoptic have begun a campaign more important than ever in a time of record-breaking inflation and soaring living costs. The #FreeToSwitch petition is campaigning to allow customers to switch broadband providers without penalty and free of charge, should prices rise above current inflation levels.

Here at MoneyMagpie, we found out about the #FreeToSwitch campaign after our founder Jasmine Birtles appeared on GB News discussing broadband price rises, and the fact many providers are being accused of profiteering from these increases.

there’s no need for prices to rise

There are 28 million households in the UK today, of which 96% have broadband. Of these households, 97% are with providers who have increased their broadband prices, impacting a staggering 25.9 million people. That means you, yes YOU are likely to be impacted by these increases.

But why is this important? You may be thinking, “Prices are rising, of course broadband costs will increase, it’s to be expected”. This is true to an extent – but we mustn’t allow broadband giants to profit from a cost-of-living crisis and exploit customers.

Major broadband providers who lead the marker are putting their prices up by as much as 10%, which is far above the current rate of inflation. To top this, they offer nothing extra in return for these increased costs. UK broadband providers will likely pocket an extra £887 million from these price hikes.

It is also suggested the small print is locking millions of people into contracts they are unable to leave, despite increased costs. If the price rises above inflation, you should be able to leave without consequence.

Hyperoptic want to help the 92% of people worried about the cost-of-living crisis. In addition, 88% of people believe you should be allowed to switch contracts or providers mid-term, should the cost become too much, without charge or penalty. Furthermore, 94% of people said they would switch broadband providers mid-term to get a better deal, should the rules and terms of a contract allow.

According to James Fredrickson from Hyperoptic, “Households are already hurting from inflationary pressure on core products like food, petrol and energy. It is then startling to see that the majority of broadband customers are unaware of being locked into price rises of this scale. It is imperative that Ofcom, as our industry regulator, urgently investigates industry compliance with the rules governing price variation clauses.”

You can find out more about the #FreeToSwitch campaign and sign the petition here.

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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