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Brits overpay £41 every second for expired mobile and broadband contracts

Manny Pham
January 31, 2018

Around eight million broadband and three million mobile pay monthly customers could be out of contract

UK consumers are overpaying £41 per second on expired phone and broadband bills, ringing up a combined total of £108 million, according to a report from

Around eight million broadband and three million mobile pay monthly customers could be out of contract, racking up the total.

The report was released today (Jan 31) on a survey sample of 2,002 UK adults from December 21 to 27.

There is over 51 million adults in the UK, 94 per cent have mobile phones according to Ofcom, under 50 per cent have pay monthly contracts with a handset included. Fixed broadband connections stand at 25.3 million.

The report discovered 45 per cent of broadband customers don’t believe their contracts has ended, and don’t know the end date. Around a quarter have been out of contract for more than three years.

No contract ending notifications

According to the regulatory body rules mobile and broadband providers are not required to notify customers of the end of a contract.

In December Ofcom introduced reforms to allow consumers to switch mobile providers with a free text. A ‘one touch’ process introduced in 2015 placed the switching process in the hands of the receiving broadband/fixed line provider.

Ofcom has said it will “consider uSwitch’s report carefully”. A spokesperson said: “We want to ensure people can take full advantage of the deals out there and easily move to contracts that suit them best.

“So we’ve announced plans to help people shop around, which includes looking at end of contract notifications. We’ll provide details soon”.

Undermining trust

O2 chief marketing officer Nina Bibby: “Forcing customers to continue to pay for a phone they already own not only hits their pockets but undermines trust and the reputation of the industry.”

A Vodafone spokesperson said “will ensure from April this year that all customers approaching the end of their contract receive an automatic notification to this effect.”



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