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UK broadband customers need greater protection against bad broadband contracts, it has been claimed.

Citizens Advice has warned that some consumers find themselves locked in unsuitable broadband deals or hit by arbitrary cancellation fees when they change service providers.

The charity discovered that the average cost for getting out of a broadband contract is £190, with fees up to £625 reported.

Individuals who stand up to costly broadband cancellation charges are seeing their fees passed to debt collectors, Citizens Advice noted.

It said that slow connection speeds, persistent faults and bad customer service are among the motivations for consumers looking to switch broadband providers before the end of their contract.

Some customers moving house were also hit by early cancellation fees, even though they would not be able to use the service after leaving their current address.

In response, Citizens Advice has called on broadband providers to waive cancellation fees if customers are having persistent problems with their service.

This would mean subscribers are not forced to stay in unsatisfactory contracts.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said people are finding themselves "held captive" by bad broadband services.

"Some consumers who have stood up to problem suppliers have found themselves being punished for switching when they’ve been hit with a cancellation fee that is then passed over to a debt collection agency," she stated.

"Service providers must not shackle customers seeking a better service with unreasonable fees that can turn into shock debt."

Ms Guy claimed all internet users should have a way out of inadequate contracts and broadband speeds that only give them daily frustration.

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