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'Free' broadband warning to users

Customers need help to find the right deal

Independent switching service, firsthelpline.com, has warned customers not to be easily persuaded by marketing used to sell some broadband deals.

Research conducted by Ofcom last November has shown that there’s some confusion surrounding broadband deals, with between 18 and 34 percent of consumers finding it difficult to compare providers by cost or service quality. These findings have also been supported by research carried out by firsthelpline.com, leading them to produce a short guide to choosing the best broadband deal.

In addition to providing consumers with helpful pointers, firsthelpline.com is also advising suppliers to give customers the correct information to make an informed decision and avoid skimming over the facts by using flashy advertising.

Firsthelpline.com has advised consumers to consider all available options and think carefully whether they really need a bundled service. It’s also important to be cautious of committing to long-term contracts and always read the small print. Firsthelpline's site also highlights that some providers are bundling other services into the offer for which they charge customers. This means that the broadband will only be free if you take another service.

Aamir Baloch, director at firsthelpline.com, said that bundling has “real advantages”. However it is essential for consumers to look at their options and compare them on “the facts rather than on soundbites and advertising slogans”.

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