BT broadband and TalkTalk users face unexpected cost if they EVER switch to Sky or Virgin

2 min

13 shares, 93 points

It’s a well known fact that switching your broadband supplier can end up saving you some serious money – hundreds of pounds a year if you’re lucky. Broadband companies are always offering up big incentives for new customers, which means you’ll have to switch your internet supplier when your current contract expires to reduce your monthly bill.

But while changing your broadband is clearly a good idea, it seems many are put off doing so by a charge that you may not even know existed. Some suppliers, including BT and TalkTalk, will not let you keep your existing premium email features for free if you decided to make the switch to a rival firm.

In fact, BT will charge you a hefty £7.50 per month for the privilege of still receiving emails to your email address. TalkTalk wants £5 per month.

Of course, this won’t affect you if you have a generic email from services, like Gmail, but research from Compare the Market suggests that as many as one in four adults in the UK have an email address linked to their broadband provider.

Older people appear much more likely than Generation Z to have an email address linked to their broadband provider, with one in six 18-24 year olds to nearly two in five people aged over 65.

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BT and TalkTalk customers face a cost for switching suppliers (Image: BT • TALKTALK)

Older people are also the least likely to switch as a result of charges associated with keeping an email address. Compare the Market says that switching broadband provider remains an issue amongst households in the UK. In fact, only one in seven people have switched provider in the last 12 months with those customers who have not switched more likely to be on a poor value “out of contract” deal and missing out on an estimated £100 saving.

Out of the four big UK broadband providers, which supply nearly 90 percent of the UK’s homes that use broadband, only Sky does not limit access to their email address post switch, or charge its customers to keep it. Although Virgin does allow customers to keep their address free of charge, this is only available for 90 days before the company then deletes it.

Holly Niblett, head of digital at said: “It seems that many broadband providers are holding customers to ransom over their email addresses. Email addresses have fast become a vital and necessary part of our everyday lives. It’s unacceptable that the fear of losing an email address is leading to switching inertia, particularly amongst over 65s, who are more likely paying over the odds for broadband as a result. Better value deals tend to be secured by those out of contract and able to switch.

“With broadband increasingly recognised by the government as an essential utility, a fairer and more transparent system for customers to keep their email addresses when they switch provider is long overdue. Urgent reform is needed.”

Defending its email charges, a BT spokesperson said: “BT Broadband customers receive a free email service as part of their package. If they switch broadband providers, they can continue to use the BT email service, free of charge, through a web browser. This version includes unlimited storage, online virus protection and a UK based helpdesk.

“The email service with premium features is also available to customers if they switch provider, and additionally includes multiple inboxes and access through email apps, for £7.50 a month.”

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