One in six Brits are having to fork out for 'hidden charges' when it comes to their broadband service, says

Research by the comparison website revealed that charges for functions such as paper billing and not paying by direct debit is costing Brits an average of £44 per year.

Calls to technical helplines and charges for exceeding download limits were also among so of the most common hidden charges that are pushing up the price of broadband access up.

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"Mobile and broadband bills are one of the few to fall in the past year yet providers are clawing back revenue with charges hidden in the small print and Ofcom need to address this practice to ensure people know upfront what things will cost," said James Parker, mobiles and broadband manager at

The comparison website also said that 47 percent of Brits stung by additional charges did not realise they were liable for the costs under their contract.

"The fact that almost half of those incurring charges did not realise they formed part of their contract highlights the problem that these charges are hidden away. Although, it is crucial that people read contracts thoroughly, especially as 18-24 month deals are becoming commonplace, if there is a problem then you are stuck for a long time."

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See also: 25% of Brits don't know broadband download limits