CAB: Broadband customers face ‘unreasonable’ cancellations fees of up to £625

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One in five broadband customers in the UK have been involved in a dispute over cancellation or withdrawal of internet packages and ended up complaining to Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) last year.

According to CAB, Brits are either locked in broadband contracts with shoddy connection speeds or end up with huge bills including “cancellation fees” of up to £625.

The charity has reportedly received more than 3,300 complaints from users in England and Wales, with a further 4,500 issues registered by customers from England and Scotland, just in the past year – July 2013 and June 2014.

Around 18 percent of the complaints filed were about the service provider failing to address the issues, while 15 percent were problems related to the billing and costs of service.

The CAB has called on the ISPs to axe such cancellation fees, in case of customers facing persistent problems with their broadband service.

The charity claimed that customers are forced to pay average cancellation fees of £190 for switching ISPs, while some customers have been charged up to £625. Over 50 percent of the complaints received by CAB, had users often cite the experience to have been substandard with relatively slow connection speeds than promised, persistent faults and bad customer service.

The CAB noted that customers, who are moving to a new locality where the existing network service isn’t available, have also been hit with early cancellation fees. Customers who declined to pay the fees, where passed over to debt collection agencies. The charity warns the ISPs to be more careful about handing over cancellation fees to debt collectors.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive, Gillian Guy said that the ISPs “must not shackle customers” looking out for a better service, with all these “unreasonable fees” for switching broadband that can “turn into shock debt.” Guy added that all the users must be able to easily find a way out of the contracts with inadequate broadband speeds which only give them frustration every day.