Broadband - are you paying too much?

Guest Blogger - Rebekah Carter: Contributor at Broadband Genie

April 17, 2020

Despite the low costs that are often advertised online and on television, a lot of people end up paying more for their internet connections than they originally expected.

What’s more, if you end up sticking with the same broadband supplier after your initial contract ends, there’s a good chance that you’re dealing with the high rates of a “standard deal.” This means that you’re not getting any of the discounts or offers that may have attracted you to a specific provider in the first place.

According to Ofcom, at the end of 2019, 40% of broadband customers in the UK (8.8million) aren’t in a contract [1]. Switching to an alternative provider could be the quickest way for these individuals to save hundreds on their connectivity bills.

So, where do you get started? Our guest blogger, Rebekah Carter, a Contributor at Broadband Genie [2] will get you on the right track to lowering your broadband bill.

Check your contract details

The first thing you need to do before you start looking for a better deal is to check whether you’re still in contract. While switching to another provider can save you money, you may put yourself at risk of some hefty bills if you try to move when you’re still in the minimum contract term.

Fortunately, it’s usually quite easy to find out what your situation is.

Consider logging onto your customer account if your broadband provider has an online portal. You’ll usually be able to find information about your current package in the “Billing” section.

If you can’t find the insights that you need online, call customer services. Ask what your current package is, and when it ends.

Consider the switch or stay debate

Once you know whether you’re free to leave your supplier or not, you can begin to think about what you want to do.

After all, you may like the service that you currently get from your provider. If that’s the case, then you don’t necessarily need to switch to get the best deal. Instead, you can contact customer services and ask your provider what kind of deals they can offer.

If your customer service rep says that you’re not eligible for any discounts, don’t be afraid to haggle. According to a Which? Independent study, 45% of customers have haggled with their broadband provider to get a better deal [3].

The key to successfully getting a discount from your broadband provider is often showing them that you’re willing to leave if you don’t get what you want. Sales reps will usually have the option to give customers certain discounts and offers if it means keeping their custom.

Telling your company that you’re willing to switch will often push them to give you something valuable – like a discount or a new deal.

If you’re not a fan of your current service provider, or you’re happy to try something new, then you may decide to simply switch immediately, without haggling.

Usually, switching can get you a better deal. It means that you can take advantage of the discounted pricing that is only available to new customers.

What’s more, a lot of broadband providers also offer introductory gifts for new clients too, such as vouchers and other freebies.

Finding your broadband deal

Provided that you choose to seek out a brand-new deal, you’ll need to do some research. Comparing your options will help to ensure that you don’t just get the best offer on your broadband, you also get the service that you expect too.

Start by checking what you can reasonably get in your area. A postcode search will tell you what kind of broadband options are available, and what sort of speed you can expect too.

Remember, just because you can get extremely high fibre speeds in your area, doesn’t mean you need them. As a rough guide, it’s often a good idea to allow for around 10Mbps per person. However, you should consider excessive usage. For instance, if you or your family does a lot of online gaming, streams videos from Netflix, and so on, then you’ll need more bandwidth.

Once you know exactly how much speed you need, look at ways that you can keep your monthly costs to a minimum. For instance:

Bundles:

Bundling television and phone costs in with your broadband can be a money-saving option [4]. However, it’s only worth considering these packages if you already use those services. Don’t upgrade to a bundle if you never use your home phone anyway.

Special offers:

As mentioned above, most companies will have special offers to attract new customers. See whether you can take advantage of things like 6 months at a discount price, or free gifts to improve the value of your package.

Bonus savings:

Some companies may even offer extra bonuses with broadband packages, like free mobile internet when you sign up for a broadband and phone package at the same time.‍

Always Read the Fine Print

It’s easy to get excited by the promise of fantastic deals when you’re signing up for broadband.

Just make sure that you’re not agreeing to something blindly. Read the fine print on all the deals that you consider, and make sure that you know what you need to do to claim your offers.

Additionally, it’s worth making sure that you’re not going to be locked into a new contract for too long if you want the flexibility to switch providers again in the future.

 

Information about Rebekah Carter:

Rebekah is a freelance writer and content creator specialising in technology, marketing, and business growth. She has years of experience writing highly-researched and well-informed pieces for the digital landscape.

[1] Ofcom

[2] Broadband Genie

[3] Which?

[4] Broadband Genie (ii)

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