A third of broadband users miss out on top deals due to switching fears

31 January 2017

More than a third (35%) of UK broadband users who’ve experienced a period of internet downtime when they tried moving providers in the past say the thought of being without internet has put them off doing it again.

Over 2,000 people who have switched broadband provider and who were without broadband during the switchover were asked by comparison website uSwitch: “Has the time without broadband access during the switchover delay put you off ever switching broadband providers again?”

8% said yes - definitely, 26% said yes - a little bit, 29% said no - not particularly, 30% said no – not at all, and 6% said not sure.


Yet by not switching, uSwitch estimates consumers are missing out on collective savings of £327 million a year. The average saving per household just for switching provider is £118 a year, but almost one in 10 (8%) customers save more than £240 a year.

Among those who reported being without broadband between providers, the average length of downtime was 1.4 days.

Those who switched provider and experienced a period without broadband managed to bridge the gap by buying dongles (11%), tethering their smartphone and using mobile data (11%) and paying for BT Wi-Fi (5%). Others found free or cheaper ways to access the internet, such as making do with the internet at work to get personal things done (16%), using the library (12%), sitting in a cafe with Wi-Fi (11%) or sharing a neighbour’s connection (5%).

uSwitch says the main reason for switching delays is often because you’re transferring to a different line and there’s a physical installation process needed. It cites examples such as if you need a new Openreach home phone line installed, or if you’re signing up to Virgin and your property hasn’t yet been connected to its cable network.

It believes the introduction of automatic compensation could act as a solid incentive to encourage providers to work better at providing a more seamless switching service.

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