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Are you paying too much for your broadband?



Canstar Blue releases Broadband – Most Satisfied Customers Award

Australians are spending an average of almost $70 a month on their home broadband connection – and almost half of us think we’re paying too much.

That’s one of the findings of a new study by consumer research and ratings service Canstar Blue, which also found that around a third of bill-payers would like to switch broadband providers, but consider the process to be too daunting.

“Lots of people complain when the bill comes through every month, but many will only have themselves to blame,” said Canstar Blue spokesman Simon Downes. “Only two in five survey respondents have shopped around to find a better deal in the last 12 months, and if you don’t put in the time and effort, there’s always the chance you will end up paying too much.

“Most of us simply couldn’t do without internet access for just a couple of days, so we’re desperate to get connected as quickly as possible. This could mean people get locked into one or two-year plans that don’t necessarily offer them value for money. You could end up paying hundreds of dollars a year more than you need to.

“Once the opportunity to switch – or at least negotiate a better deal – arrives, some consumers still won’t grasp it. After a couple of years with the same provider, some people may become complacent and lack the motivation to switch.”

Broadband findings

         % of respondents

I believe I could get a better broadband deal with another provider

45%

I would like to switch providers but find the process too daunting

30%

I would like to switch providers but can’t find the time

22%

I’ve shopped around to try and find a better broadband deal in the last 12 months

38%


Broadband ($)

Overall

QLD

NSW

VIC

SA

WA

Monthly spend

$69.19

$70.70

$69.09

$68.59

$65.75

$75.70

 

 


The survey, of 2,220 adults who have a broadband account in their name, found service reliability to be the greatest driver of customer satisfaction, just ahead of value for money and tech support.

How to avoid paying more than you need to

Joseph Hanlon, editor of comparison site WhistleOut, says those paying around $70 a month should consider looking around for a better deal.

“Depending on the amount of data needed in a household, some families could be paying as little as $40, including home phone line rental,” he said.

“Savings on broadband costs comes from knowing exactly what you need and matching a plan to that. There are a lot of bundles available, combining a number of different services, some of which you may not need. For example, if everyone in your house has a mobile phone, do you need a fixed line phone plan? Do you make international calls? Do you need an entertainment package? None of these additional services are free of charge, so dodging a bundle could mean a cheaper monthly bill.

“Switching may seem like a daunting task, but the broadband providers should do most of the work. Most ISPs (internet service providers) participate in the 'DSL Transfer Process' which is designed to make switching as easy as possible. It still takes several days to complete the process, but customers should find they have little to do apart from deciding on which plan is best for them and making the application to switch.”

As well as ongoing costs, savings could also be made from the moment you sign up. Some providers will charge for installation costs, while others won’t. Check the provider’s website or give them a call to check before you make your decision. You could also avoid paying extra for a router if you already have one.

Research reveals best rated broadband providers

Survey respondents were asked to rate their service provider across a range of research categories, with Westnet achieving five-star ratings in all of them, including overall satisfaction.

“Scoring five-star ratings across the board is an exceptional achievement and a clear indicator that Westnet is keeping its customers very happy,” said Canstar Blue spokesman Simon Downes. “Most consumers couldn’t do without the internet and demand a service they can rely on, while hopefully not paying too much. And if there is a problem, they want professional support on hand to solve it. Westnet is clearly ticking all of these boxes.”