Consumer Editor, Daniel Jones writes,
New website shows if you are paying over the odds for the internet
ismybillfair.com can tell you quickly if you are paying over the odds for broadband
FAMILIES can end up paying twice as much as they ought to for broadband, as firms take advantage of their loyalty.
Firms are holding long-standing customers to ransom with deals that are not competitive.
But by simply asking your supplier for a better package can help bring bills down.And a new service launched this month — Is My Bill Fair — will help you do it. You can compare what you pay to others on the same service from the same firm at ismybill fair.com. It isn’t just for broadband as it also covers services including energy, mobile phones, car breakdown and boilers.
Users pick a bill type and their supplier, clarify the details of their service — such as broadband speed or energy usage — and say what they pay.
A clever display then shows how their bills compare to others, revealing the average amount paid as well as the lowest and highest bills being received by your fellow users.
Researchers at the website have looked in detail at the results of customers who used the service to compare their broadband bill.
For instance, the average monthly bill for those getting their phone and broadband from BT is £52.
But some pay as little as £30 and others as much as £100 — a noticeable £70 difference.
The data relies on users accurately entering their details, of course, and choosing the right package on the site.
Boss Alex Perrin says: “The accuracy of the package details entered by our customers is key to our service.
“This is why we have several measures in place to check it and prevent people entering the wrong details. We even get photos of our customers’ bills, so users can be confident the figures they see are accurate.”
Four people in five would rather get a better deal from their current provider than switch to a rival firm, a survey for the service showed. But they don’t have the confidence to call their provider and haggle.
Alex adds: “For the first time, we are giving consumers another option. Many don’t want to switch — they just want a fairer deal from their existing provider.
“Through ismybillfair.com, we will challenge providers to do exactly that.
“We want them to charge fair prices to all customers on the same package.”
He adds: “Most providers only find out customers want to switch when they’ve already left.
“Offering providers the chance to retain these people could save millions of pounds every year.”