- Two million households are not switching their broadband for fear of losing their email address — costing them £121 a year
- Almost half of people (46%) with an email address from their broadband provider have had it for more than ten years, and two fifths say they haven’t got a new deal since signing up
- One in ten people say they have been put off changing suppliers in case they lose their email address
- A third of over-65s fear they will lose contact with family or friends if they move away from their broadband provider email
- 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 — costing them £121 a year, 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.
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.
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, meaning they could be paying £121 a year more than they should be.
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.
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.
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.