Bills Dashboard was set up out of frustration. The agonising, painful frustration of having to deal with non-sensical illogical companies who take your money with little concern for customer service. Recently, Citizens Advice published research showing how people pay a ‘loyalty penalty’ across essential markets and could be overpaying by as much as £987 a year.
Well here is one example. A customer of Bills Dashboard contacted us and explained his own particular frustration. He is currently with Plusnet for Fibre Broadband Extra (76mb), paying £38 a month. The contract ends in April 2019. He contacted Plusnet to see if he could stay with Plusnet but be downgraded to just Fibre Broadband (36mb).
The price online was £23.99 a month. However, when he contacted Plusnet, the price he was quoted was £30.99 a month for a 12m contract, because he was NOT a new customer. When he asked to cancel his contract, he was quoted a £58 cancellation fee.
Why the price difference? The cheaper price is for NEW customers only. It makes no sense for the customer. There are no other markets we can think of where one customer is given one price and another customer a different price.
Tesco doesn’t make some products cheaper for ex-customers of Aldi, for example. BMW doesnt charge you more if you are trading in a BMW.
Apple doesn’t charge pensioners more for an iPhone than it would a 30 year old. It is an illogical pricing structure and it is no wonder consumer complaints are rising.
Furthermore, at a time when household bills are rising and there is less money around, it is so difficult for consumers to challenge providers, to seek redress and to switch without a penalty payment. On top of this, consumers have to take the time out of their busy day, wait 15 minutes to speak to someone and then have the small print quoted to them. It is about time that regulators started to challenge some of the working practices of providers.