A number of recent broadband horror stories have highlighted the need for broadband customers to be vigilant about hidden costs from their network provider.
Will Pierce last week arrived home from a five day ski-ing holiday to be met with a £22,000 mobile broadband bill from Vodafone.
He’d downloaded a small number of TV programmes onto his laptop whilst he was away, using his Vodafone dongle.
It turned out that the amount of data needed to download the programmes was equivalent to £300 per minute – so an 18 minute TV show cost £5,000.
Pierce said: “There’s no warning when you log on how much it will cost a minute, or a counter on the screen telling you what it is costing.
“If you ran up such a bill on your credit card while overseas you’d get a call checking that it is you who is spending so much.”
Simplifydigital.co.uk is urging broadband users to watch out for other hidden costs include BT’s use of ‘rolling contracts’.
A BT broadband customer coming to the end of their 18 month contract will automatically have their contract renewed for another 18 months unless they tell BT they’re leaving.
If they wait until their current contract is ended before telling BT they want to leave, they face a ‘contract termination fee’ of £180 for ending their automatically renewed contract.
Technical support lines have also come under scrutiny.
Whilst some broadband providers offer free technical support phonelines, many are using premium rate numbers.
A ten minute call to Tesco broadband technical support, for example, costs the customer £5.
The message is clear: when choosing your broadband provider, beware.
You may end up paying more than you bargained for.