ISPA’s comment on the announcement made today that the CMA will investigate a ‘loyalty penalty’ super-complaint made by Citizens Advice.

ISPA fully supports efforts to encourage customers to engage with the market, and there is, naturally, a clear need to engage with vulnerable customers to provide support and help with switching. ISPA members are working hard to ensure that appropriate help is offered and we support Ofcom’s consultation on the introduction of end of contract notifications which will further enhance consumer engagement.

With a consultation ongoing, we feel that Citizen Advice is jumping the gun in relation to the broadband market and we are concerned that the narrative of a “loyalty penalty” conflates customer loyalty with ill-informed or unengaged customers. Loyalty to a provider does not necessarily mean that a customer is not content with their service, especially as in the broadband sector there are a range of non-price issues that the customer may value, including performance, service quality, and reliability.

Furthermore, the choice available to consumers in the retail broadband market is wide and the introductory offers made available by many providers are a function of a competitive market and help to keep prices low overall.