We urge broadband providers to abolish extortionate exit fees and end the £1.3bn price hike swindle now

Alexander Fitzgerald

CEO

We urge broadband providers to abolish extortionate exit fees and end the £1.3bn price hike swindle now

Extortionate broadband exit fees and above-inflation price rises should be scrapped as UK customers face a cost of living crisis – a letter from our CEO

Millions of internet users are seeing annual price rises of nearly 10% just as other bills rocket - but are helpless to react because of exit penalties of hundreds of pounds.

Most broadband customers are stuck in 18-month or 24-month contracts. It has been reported that the price rises will cost UK households more than £100m a month - or £1.3billion a year. 

This week alone, six of the eight major broadband providers - BT, EE, TalkTalk, Vodafone, Plusnet and John Lewis Broadband - are raising their prices for most customers by between 8.2% and 9.3% depending on when they initially signed up. 

Yet unlike the energy sector, where wholesale prices have dramatically increased, wholesale costs in broadband are regulated by Ofcom and have remained flat for two decades.

Millions of people in the UK are facing the worst cost of living crisis for decades. Broadband providers must do the decent thing - scrap the exit fees and axe above-inflation increases.

Most broadband customers are tied into long contracts. Many won’t have read the small print properly and won’t realise they face an annual increase tied to the Consumer Prices Index with another 4% whacked on top.

Then when they do realise and try to leave for a better deal, they run into the brick wall of exit fees. These can be hundreds of pounds. Broadband firms use opaque methods to calculate the fees - meaning customers aren’t sure of how much they could have to fork out.

It’s the rises combined with the exit fees trap that is so unfair. It’s going to hurt the poorest the worst but others will be affected. It will hurt those who are just about managing and it will hurt those on middle incomes.

At Cuckoo, we can’t say we’ll never raise prices, but we will always be honest and transparent - and we will never tie people into opaque contracts with extortionate exit fees.

The price hikes come as utility bills - particularly energy - are set to shoot up.

Energy bills have understandably been the focus of attention as they are going up by more than half. But there are causes for the rises in the energy sector - wholesale energy prices have spiked. There is no excuse in the broadband sector for such steep price rises and restrictive contracts - the wholesale price hasn’t changed in 20 years.

Switch broadband, for good.