Switching broadband is easy

Broadband switching: myth-busting guide

Millions of households across the UK are paying hundreds of pounds a year more for their broadband than they need to, yet many are concerned about switching to a better deal with a different provider. First Utility broadband carried out research into the top barriers to switching which revealed that most people’s concerns are based on myths.

We’ve taken the top concerns and busted the myths to explain the reality of broadband switching:

1.
Switching concern I’ll be without internet for a long time
Amount overspent in the UK each year due to not switching for this reason1 £520m
Myth or reality? Myth. In most cases you’ll only be without internet for less than an hour. While the process takes 14 days in total - the actual switch over is very quick, far less than the three and a half days that people think they’ll be without internet.
2.
Switching concern My new supplier might not be very reliable
Amount overspent in the UK each year due to non-switching for this reason1 £484m
Myth or reality? Myth. The reality is that most of the homes in the UK are connected by Openreach’s network which other providers then lease. What this means is that whoever your provider, you’ll most likely be using very similar network infrastructure. It means that reliability and speeds don’t vary by provider as much as people think (but do vary by geography).
3.
Switching concern I won’t save much money
Amount overspent in the UK each year due to non-switching for this reason1 £375m
Myth or reality? Myth. The average amount that people thought they’d save is £38.75 per year2. In reality, customers could save as much as £2883 per year compared to the cheapest deals on the market if they are one of the 72% of households on an ‘out-of-contract’ rate.
4.
Switching concern The switching process is complicated
Amount overspent in the UK each year due to non-switching for this reason1 £283m
Myth or reality? Myth. Switching to a new provider is simple. Just sign-up with the provider you want to switch to and they will do the rest for you. 14 days later you’ll have a new provider. The exception is if you’re switching away from Virgin, when you’ll need to let them know you’re off. If you are ‘out-of-contract’ you’ll not pay any exit fees either.
5.
Switching concern I need to wait around for an engineer
Amount overspent in the UK each year due to non-switching for this reason1 £230m
Myth or reality?

Myth. If you have an existing phone line installed then you probably won’t need an engineer visit. Your new provider will pop a new router in the post which is easy to set up yourself. The exception is if you have a cable provider or need a new line installed.

Fewer than 8% of First Utility’s customers require an engineer visit and most of these are either new builds or coming from Virgin Media.

6.
Switching concern I don’t want to be charged to leave my existing provider
Amount overspent in the UK each year due to non-switching for this reason1 £182m
Myth or reality?

Partial myth. If you are in contract with another provider then there may be exit fees to leave. BUT, the vast majority of households are ‘out-of-contract’ - 72% of those we surveyed, equating to around 16 million homes across the UK, will have no exit fees and could save hundreds of pounds.

Rank Switching concern Amount overspent in the UK each year due to non-switching for this reason1

Myth or reality?
1. I’ll be without internet for a long time £520m

Myth. In most cases you’ll only be without internet for less than an hour. While the process takes 14 days in total - the actual switch over is very quick, far less that the three and a half days that people think they’ll be without internet.

2. My new supplier might not be very reliable £484m

Myth. The reality is that most of the homes in the UK are connected by Openreach’s network which other providers then lease.

What this means is that whoever your provider, you’ll most likely be using very similar network infrastructure. It means that reliability and speeds don’t vary by provider as much as people think (but do vary by geography).

3. I won’t save much money £375m

Myth. The average amount that people thought they’d save is £38.75 per year2. In reality, customers could save as much as £2883 per year compared to the cheapest deals on the market if they are one of the 72% of households on an ‘out-of-contract’ rate.

4. The switching process is complicated £283m

Myth. Switching to a new provider is simple. Just sign-up with the provider you want to switch to and they will do the rest for you. 14 days later you’ll have a new provider. The exception is if you’re switching away from Virgin, when you’ll need to let them know you’re off. If you are ‘out-of-contract’ you’ll not pay any exit fees either.

5. I need to wait around for an engineer £230m

Myth. If you have an existing phone line installed then you probably won’t need an engineer visit. Your new provider will pop a new router in the post which is easy to set up yourself. The exception is if you have a cable provider or need a new line installed.

Fewer than 8% of First Utility’s customers require an engineer visit and most of these are either new builds or coming from Virgin Media.

6. I don’t want to be charged to leave my existing provider £182m

Partial myth. If you are in contract with another provider then there may be exit fees to leave. BUT, the vast majority of households are ‘out-of-contract’ - 72% of those we surveyed, equating to around 16 million homes across the UK, will have no exit fees and could save hundreds of pounds.

Do you know how easy it is to switch? | First Utility Broadband
Do you know how easy it is to switch? | First Utility Broadband

1 Total overspend for switching concerns calculated using the % of UK households who share each concern and the average difference between in contract and out-of-contract pricing (£113) as per research by Citizens Advice

2 £38.75 per year is the perceived annual saving of switching based on research carried out by Opinion Matters between 01/12/17 and 06/12/17 with a sample of 2,003 respondents

3 Savings compare the annual cost of an out of contract BT Unlimited customer paying £42.99 a month, moving to First Utility’s equivalent speed package, First Broadband, priced at £18.99 per month


Back to blog homepage

Avoiding DIY disasters

How to avoid DIY disasters

Quick and easy jobs to tackle over the bank holiday

Find out more

Your weekend DIY timetable

Your weekend DIY timetable

Quick and easy jobs to tackle over the bank holiday

Find out more

Important information regarding our advice and tips

We try to make sure that the information we include in our blog is correct. Unfortunately information can become out dated, and we can’t guarantee that we won’t ever make a mistake. With that in mind, we accept no responsibility (including loss, damage or injury) for your use of the advice on our blog, or the wider website. Please always consult a professional if you intend to carry out DIY and you’re not fully confident in doing it yourself.

Need help?