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Two million homes miss out on £121 yearly savings on broadband over fear of losing email address

 

  • Two million households are not switching their broadband for fear of losing their email address[1] — costing them £121 a year[2]

  • Almost half of people (46%) with an email address from their broadband provider have had it for more than ten years[3], and two fifths say they haven’t got a new deal since signing up[4]

  • One in ten people say they have been put off changing suppliers in case they lose their email address[5]

  • A third of over-65s fear they will lose contact with family or friends if they move away from their broadband provider email[6]

  • Uswitch offers tips on how to start up a new email address and keep hold of important documents and contacts. 

More than two million households are stuck on poor broadband deals due to a fear of losing an email address supplied by their provider[1] — costing them £121 a year[2], according to Uswitch.com, the comparison and switching service.

Nearly a quarter of consumers (23%) — almost 13 million people — currently use an email address provided by their broadband supplier, with BT accounts the most popular[8]. 

The perceived hassle of changing email accounts means many people stay with their broadband company to keep their address. Consumers with a broadband provider email account have had it for almost eight years on average, and almost half of these people (46%) have had it for more than ten years[3]. 

Staying with the same provider means that consumers miss out on better deals with other suppliers. Two-fifths of those with a provider email address haven’t even taken out a new deal with their supplier since signing up[4], meaning they could be paying £121 a year more than they should be[9].

Three in 10 people (30%) with a broadband email would not change their address as they believe they will miss important information or messages. One in 10 say that they have been put off switching suppliers in the past in case it meant losing access to their email[5].

Older people are particularly afraid of losing access to their provider-owned email, with a third of over-65s (32%) saying that they are afraid of losing contact with friends and family as a result of moving to a new broadband provider[6].

Uswitch.com is offering advice to consumers on how to keep your email address when changing providers, and whether it’s the best option for them. Setting up a new account with an email host such as Gmail can be better value than paying the monthly fee that some providers demand. 

Catherine Hiley, broadband expert at Uswitch.com, comments: “Signing up for a broadband package with one of the larger providers usually comes with an email address. But this innocuous freebie can sometimes end up costing loyal customers more in the long run. 

“Some providers will let you keep your email address, but the cost of this means that you’re usually better off setting up a free account elsewhere and transferring your important data.

“You might also want to set up an auto-responder for your old email address that lets friends and family know that their message has been forwarded to a new address.

“While Sky allows you to hold onto your email address indefinitely, BT charges you £5 a month to access your account. Virgin Media is the strictest, and gives you only 90 days after you switch to move to a new email.

“Staying loyal to a provider to keep hold of your email address costs you £121 a year on average, so make sure you’re ready to jump ship when a better deal comes along.”

Find out how to keep your email address if you’re leaving your broadband provider here.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Izzy Green
Phone: 07913 954048
Email: isabel.green@rvu.co.uk
Twitter: @UswitchPR

Notes to editors:
Opinium surveyed a sample of 2,000 UK adults from the 30th July to 3rd August 2021. Results were weighted to reflect a nationally representative criteria.
1. Respondents were asked ‘Which of the following providers do you still have an active email account with?’ 490 people have an active account with a broadband provider. 26 of these have been with their provider for 18 months or less. 490 - 26 = 464 people who have an active account with a broadband provider and have passed the term of their original contract. 464 / 2,000 = 23.2%. 23.2% of 55.4 million UK consumers = 12.9 million consumers with an active broadband provider email account and out of contract. 23.2% of 27.6 million UK households = 6.4 million households with an active broadband provider email account and out of contract.  
40% of 6.4 million households = 2.56 million households who haven’t taken out a new deal.
2. 2.56 million households x £90 a year average extra cost for being out of contract = £230 million a year cost for households. 
3. Respondents were asked ‘How long have you had the email address with your broadband provider?’ The average was 7.8 years. 46% of those with a broadband email address said they’d had it for more than ten years.
4. Respondents were asked ‘Have you got a new deal with your broadband provider since you signed up with them?’ 40% said ‘No’. 
5. Respondents were asked ‘Thinking about why you have an email account with your broadband provider, which of the following applies to you?’ 30% of people with a broadband email said ‘I would not change my email address in case I miss important information or messages’. 10% of those with broadband email address said ‘I have been put off changing broadband providers in the past in case I lose my email account’.
6. Respondents were asked ‘Thinking about why you have an email account with your broadband provider, which of the following applies to you?’ 32% of over-65s said ‘I would not change my email address in case I lose contact with family or friends’.
7. Respondents were asked ‘Thinking about the main email account you use, how many of each of the following are stored on your email account, or how many services is your email address registered with?’ Respondents were registered with 2.2 bank accounts, 2.0 healthcare providers, and 3.3 utility providers.  
8. Respondents were asked ‘Which of the following providers do you still have an active email account with?’ 6% of respondents had an active BT account. 
9. Uswitch: Five million households paying £805 million more than they should for broadband due to low confidence in switching

About Uswitch - saving you money for 20 years

Uswitch is the UK’s top comparison website for home services switching. We’ve saved consumers £2.5 billion off their energy bills since we launched in September 2000, and also help people find a better deal on their broadband, mobile and TV.

Uswitch is part of RVU, a global group of online brands with a mission to empower consumers to make more confident home services, insurance and financial decisions.

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