The only way broadband customers can discover whether they are enjoying value for money is to check their connection speed, according to one expert.
Chris Marling, editor of Broadband Genie, has suggested that many broadband internet contract holders may be not be receiving the speeds they paid for.
The warning follows research from Ofcom which found that as many as 49 per cent of customers' connections never reach the top speed advertised.
Mr Marling said: "Nobody wants to pay for something they're not getting, especially in a recession.
"Factors such as closeness to your nearest telephone exchange and the quality of your ISP's equipment (or network coverage if you're using mobile broadband) can hugely affect your broadband speeds."
Mr Marling went on to recommend the use of online speed tests in order to verify the performance of a connection.