How to save money on your broadband bill
Unfortunately, staying loyal to your broadband provider is rarely the way to get the best deal.
Across the UK, broadband companies are constantly competing to attract new customers. That means newer clients get the best deals and offers. Once your broadband provider has secured a contract with you, they assume you’re going to stick with them. And let’s face it, many of us forget all about switching.
If you’ve been with the same broadband provider for more than a year or so, you’re probably already paying more than you should be. Watchdogs suggest that customers might be missing out on up to £700 per year.
So, how do you save cash on that pesky broadband bill?
It’s easier than you’d think.
1. Haggle for a Better Deal
If you like the service you get from your broadband provider, but you’re not a fan of their prices, you can always call them up and try haggling for a better deal.
When the contract you have with your current company starts approaching its end, call the customer service team and tell them you’re thinking of looking elsewhere.
To give yourself even more negotiating power, do your research online first. See what kind of deal you can get from other providers for the same level of broadband you use now. That way, you can give your current ISP (Internet Service Provider) a number to beat.
Be polite, but firm when asking for a better offer, and don’t be afraid to follow through with your threat. If your ISP isn’t willing to give you a better deal, then switch to someone who will. Most customer service teams will start offering you better prices as soon as they see you’re serious about switching.
2. Switch to a New Provider
Switching to a new service provider will sometimes be the best way to get a great deal.
If you explore the market properly, you might even be able to find a company that will give you a faster connection for a lower price.
There are even comparison websites available such as Broadband Genie to help you find the best deal in your local area. Remember, when looking for a new provider:
- Check your postcode: Search online to find out which broadband providers are available in your postcode area. Some providers may only be able to offer certain speeds in your area.
- Compare packages: Make sure you’re comparing packages like-for-like. The speed you get and any other bundle advantages required should be the same from each company.
- Contact your provider: You may need to call both your existing and new providers or just your new provider, depending on the nature of your switch.
The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re switching to a new provider is that although the switching process is usually quite simple, there is a slight difference depending on whether you’re moving between providers on the same network, or you’re moving from one network to another.
If your current Broadband service runs on the Openreach phone network, and you’re moving to another company in this network (like BT, TalkTalk, EE, Vodafone, or Sky), the switching process just takes one step. You don’t need to contact your existing provider at all. The new provider you sign up with will handle the transfer for you.
Once you’ve confirmed the switch, your new and existing provider will both send you letters to confirm the details of what’s being switched, which services are affected, and any charges you need to consider. Charges are usually only a concern if you’re leaving a contract early.
If you’re switching between networks, such as from BT to Virgin, you’ll need to stop the service with your current provider first, then switch to someone new.
3. Try Bundling Services
When you’re comparing packages or looking for ways to save money with your existing provider, remember that you can save a little extra cash by bundling packages.
Rather than buying your broadband from one company and your television and landline elsewhere, look into all-in-one packages that give you everything at once.
If you don’t already use cable television or landline, then don’t bother looking at packages that include those features. Only pay for what you want and nothing else. However, if you’re paying for various services separately, switching to a bundle is often a great way to cut some costs.
You can also look into switching the way that you pay for all of your services. Paying by direct debit might give you a discount on your bill. Some providers also allow you to pay for up to 12 months of service in a lump sum for a discounted price.
Switching to paperless billing can be another easy way to keep costs low, as some providers will charge you for requesting physical bills.
4. Check for Vouchers and Free Gifts
Remember, since most broadband providers are competing for the same customers these days, they’ll usually have special offers and gifts to give away to new customers.
When you’re switching to a new provider, you might notice that some companies can offer you a free Wi-fi router, a month of free movies, or some other freebie to sweeten the bot.
Although these free deals can seem like a great thing at first – make sure you know their real value. A £100 gift card is only good if you can use it wherever you want. Additionally, it’s not really going to save you money if you’re spending more than an extra £100 on your bills compared to if you switched to a different provider.
Be aware of the offers, but don’t let them blind you.