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Many broadband customers could be paying over the odds because they refuse to switch providers, TalkTalk has warned.

According to a study commissioned by the firm, British consumers are collectively paying out more than £1 billion in unnecessary costs because of various ingrained habits.

For instance, people were found to be very reluctant to change everything from what shampoo and deodorant they use to their mobile phone brand.

As a result, many are failing to shop around for better value options elsewhere.

This attitude is particularly true when it comes to switching TV or broadband provider, as this was listed as one of the top five things people hate to change.

TalkTalk is therefore concerned that this unwillingness to change is costing people money, with the average person paying £71 a year more than they need to because they are creatures of habit.

The company pointed out that, in light of recent mid-contract price hikes by Sky and BT, broadband customers should assess their habits to ensure they are getting the best deal when their current contract ends.

Aleks Habdank, Acting Managing Director of TalkTalk Consumer, commented: "Price rises, such as those experienced by BT and Sky customers recently, means we are paying far more than we need to. 

"The majority of consumers are also unaware that they can switch provider penalty-free if their price increases mid-way through a contract, so the power is in customers’ hands to make a change."

TalkTalk added that BT, Virgin Media and Sky customers could save up to £171 by switching to its best value Fixed Low Priced Plans, as they guarantee no mid-contract price hikes.

This comes after Citizens Advice warned that people who stick with essential service providers such as broadband firms are paying more than new customers.

The body claimed that many companies are using "unfair tactics" to take advantage of people's behaviour and put them off searching for better deals, such as making the terms and conditions of contracts overly complex, failing to tell people when contracts are ending and charging people to exit a contract.

Citizens Advice has therefore urged industry regulators to set targets to bring down the number of people being penalised for staying loyal.

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