THE CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU (CAB) has slammed UK internet service providers (ISPs) over "unreasonable" cancellation fees, and has called for them to axe such charges.
The consumer rights charity has spoken out about the issue after receiving thousands of complaints from internet users who have been forced to pay cancellation fees, even though they wanted to switch providers due to persistent connection issues.
The CAB said that the average cost for switching ISPs comes in at £190, but has heard from some broadband customers who have been forced to pay up to £625.
It is displeased about this, and is calling on ISPs to drop these charges so that "people aren't being forced into unsatisfactory contracts". It is also calling for ISPs to improve their customer service, and has warned that they should be more careful about handing over cancellation fees to debt collectors.
Chief executive of Citizens Advice Gillian Guy said, "People are finding themselves held captive by bad broadband services. Some consumers who have stood up to problem suppliers have found themselves being punished for switching when they've been hit with a cancellation fee that is then passed over to a debt collection agency.
"Internet service providers must not shackle customers seeking a better service with unreasonable fees that can turn into shock debt. All internet users need to be able to easily have a way out of inadequate contracts and broadband speeds that only give them daily frustration."
According to the latest Ofcom figures, EE is the UK's most complained about internet provider, with BT and Talktalk also both receiving more complaints that the industry average. µ