Comparison website firsthelpline.com claims that customers are required to go through a complicated process to change broadband providers, and is calling for Ofcom to intervene.
firsthelpline.com’s report says that broadband switching should be as simple as changing gas or electricity supplier.
The company wants communications regulator Ofcom to treat broadband as a basic utility and ensure that the process of switching broadband providers is brought in line with that of energy customers.
Despite new rules on switching broadband providers introduced by Ofcom last year, Firsthelpline has found that customers are still waiting months for a new connection.
Requests from gas and electricity customers who wish to change providers, must be logged on a central clearing database by the gas and electricity firms. They are then required to deal with the requests within a given period.
However Broadband customers have to ask their supplier for a special migration authorisation code (Mac code). They have to pass this code onto their supplier and the customer is responsible for overseeing the switchover.
Many customers experience problems with moving broadband and incur costs related to sorting the problems out. Many helplines charge for calls, with the average cost of calls around 9p per minute. At an average call length of 17 minutes, costs can soon mount up.