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A massive 59% of UK consumers switched suppliers for a service, such as mobile phone, utilities and broadbandin the last 12 months, according to a survey from AOL Broadband. Indeed, it seems loyalty is the latest casualty of the credit crunch with commitments taking the strain as consumers seek to tighten their belts in the current economic climate.

Worries over expensive lengthy contracts has seen a big shift in people’s attitudes to service contracts across the country with 47% of respondents spending more time seeking cheaper and shorter contracts. Nearly half (47%) of consumers saying that since the credit crunch their contracts make them feel pinned down.

79% of respondents said that they would choose a no-contract service over an identical one based on a contract, and the evidence suggests that Britain is gearing up for a no-ties 'Free-Me' approach to their financial outgoings.

Yet, it seems that the trend towards removing the ties is spreading into people’s wider lifestyles also with the constraints of jobs, mortgages and even relationships feeling the pinch in the current economic climate.

David Pagliari, Executive Director of AOL Broadband said; “We all know that the long term commitment of a mortgage has become more difficult since the credit crunch took hold, but what this research shows is that we are now far more wary about entering into any long term contracts.

“The message is that consumers now expect the flexibility to choose whether they sign up to a contract for their services or not. It is clearly an important factor, with 79% of our respondents saying that contracts or the lack of them are a deciding factor when looking at services.”

People in the North East are most likely to switch service providers with 74% saying they had switched suppliers for a service, such as mobile phone, utilities and broadband in the last 12 months.

The most popular regions for service switching are broken down below, according to how many respondents had switched suppliers in the last 12 months;

Region / Percentage

North East 74
Yorks and Humb 68
South East 64
West Midlands 63
Wales 63
South West 61
East 59
London 58
North West 52
Scotland 48
East Midlands 48

It appears that the credit crunch is having a big impact on people’s attitudes to service contracts across the country. When asked about whether the respondents were less likely to sign up to fixed term contracts with suppliers as a result of the credit crunch, it was the Welsh who came out on top. 57% of the Welsh respondents said that since the credit crunch, they were less likely to sign up to contracts. Again the North East was in the top three regions in the country.

Region / Percentage

Wales: 57
Yorks and Humb 51
North East 48
Eastern 48
West Midlands 45
South West 44
North West 41
London 41
Scotland 39
South East 38
East Midlands 38


Notes to editors:

AOL Broadband eases consumers’ reservations regarding lengthy contracts by offering the Wireless Flexi Broadband package:

• Winner of the Top 10 Broadband awards category for Best Short Contract Broadband.
• No fixed term contract
• Up to 8Mbps download speed
• From £4.99 for 3 months, £14.99 thereafter

For more information please visit

About AOL Broadband

AOL Broadband was acquired by The Carphone Warehouse Group in December 2006 from AOL Inc.
• AOL Broadband is a key part of The Carphone Warehouse Group’s Telecommunications Division which includes Opal Retail, Talk Talk and CPW Networks businesses.

About the survey

• 1000 adults aged 18+ were interviewed as part of a telephone omnibus survey.
• The omnibus survey was conducted on behalf of AOL Broadband by Dynamic Markets
• Fieldwork took place between 18th-20th April 2008

For further information, please contact AOL Broadband's Public Relations contact:

Paul Saville
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
T: 0207 6389571

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Citigate Dewe Rogerson (London) in the following categories: Consumer Technology, for more information visit