Broadband prices are going up: here’s how to get a cheaper deal

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Broadband prices are going up: here’s how to get a cheaper deal


Millions of households will pay more for their broadband this month, with four major telecommunications providers raising prices.

The average bill will grow by £ 3.03 per month, or the equivalent of £ 36.39 per year, according to Compare the Market, with a collective cost estimated at nearly £ 1 billion.

The country’s four largest Internet providers, Sky, Virgin Media, BT and TalkTalk, serve a combined customer base of 24 million people.

The average price of broadband for 24 million people will increase by £ 3.03 per month or the equivalent of £ 36.39 per year

Nearly four in five households have not changed supplier for more than a year according to Compare the Market, and those who change suppliers often stick to one of the Big Four.

His research shows that they take 81 percent of all switches on the market.

Customer inertia is also helping large broadband providers and change is also likely to be a concern for many in the current pandemic, with those working from home worrying about service disruption.

More than a third of non-changers admit never having changed supplier in their lifetime and almost a fifth consider it too complicated to do so.

“We know that many are ‘confused’ in the broadband market, and this is how providers make their money,” said Holly Niblett, senior product manager at Compare the Market.

“But when a supplier moves to raise prices, the others usually follow.

How can people beat the price hikes?

Changing your broadband company is often the best option – or at least getting a cheaper quote elsewhere and then bargaining with your current provider.

If a supplier increases prices that were not included in the contract, the customer has 30 days to cancel and change suppliers.

Under the new rules introduced by Ofcom, Internet service providers must inform customers of any future changes in contract prices when they sign up.

For example, last year BT introduced new terms and conditions, which tied customers to an annual price increase, which means its customers are unable to opt out during their contract.

But if prices increase beyond what was originally agreed, customers will still have 30 days to cancel without incurring an early exit charge.

“People don’t have to swallow the cost,” Niblett said, “usually you can cancel your contract early at no cost up to 30 days after being notified of a price increase.

“By using a comparison site, you can also compare plans to make sure you’re getting a deal with the right speed at a price that’s right for you.

“Often times, vendors will give new customers the best deals in an attempt to attract them, so it’s worth seeing if you can switch up and save significant amounts of money in the process.

However, if you’d rather stick with your current supplier, rather than switch, it’s still possible to haggle over the price.

“Do a quick comparison, then talk to your provider, letting them know you’ve found a better deal elsewhere,” said Nick Baker, broadband expert at Uswitch.

“You will often find that your broadband provider will be quite willing to reduce the cost of their service, if you have taken the initiative to find a deal elsewhere.

According to Ofcom, 96% of UK households can benefit from super-fast broadband, but only around 60% of people have opted for these faster speeds.

96% of UK households can benefit from super-fast broadband, but only around 60% of people have opted for these faster speeds according to Ofcom.

96% of UK households can benefit from super-fast broadband, but only around 60% of people have opted for these faster speeds according to Ofcom.

Has your contract already ended?

If your initial 12, 18 or 24 month contract has already ended, you can change as you wish without any financial penalty.

Under Ofcom’s rules, broadband providers must also notify customers when a contract ends and indicate what their price will increase afterwards.

According to Ofcom, more than 20 million customers are outside of their initial contract period, with many paying significantly more for their broadband than they should.

On average, broadband offers increase by around £ 9 per month at the end of the initial offer period, according to Uswitch.

“Typically, consumers can save over £ 100 per year by switching their broadband when their deal ends,” Baker said.

Will switching disrupt my connection?

Whether or not you experience an outage will depend on which provider you are with and whom you are talking to.

Most providers like BT, Sky and TalkTalk use Openreach’s online broadband infrastructure and switching between these providers should be seamless.

“Switching to broadband is generally straightforward,” Baker said.

Broadband providers have joined the compensation system

BT

Hyperoptic

Sky (y compris NOW Broadband)

Speak speak

Utility warehouse

Virgin Media

Internet zen

“In a lot of cases, when you switch providers, they’ll send you a new box and you can just plug it in, enter your new password, and be online within minutes.

However, if someone switches to a remote provider of the openreach network such as Virgin Media, they may face delays and disruption of broadband.

“If you go from line to line, from openreach to non-openreach provider, from BT to Virgin for example, you will need to bring in an engineer and there could be intermittent downtime between the change. supplier, ”said Niblett.

“So do your research and if an engineer is needed, try to schedule it for the end of your current contract.

For customers affected by this prospect, there is a compensation system to which some providers have adhered.

This allows customers to get compensation for delayed repairs, missed engineering appointments, and any delays in starting a new service.

So if a new service starts later than promised, customers can get compensation.

The four major broadband service providers are all members of the program.

How can customers choose a better Internet provider?

Industry experts point out that while the cost is significant, ensuring sufficient speed is also essential, especially since so many people are now working from home.

96% of UK households can benefit from super-fast broadband, but only around 60% of people have opted for these faster speeds according to Ofcom.

It is possible to check the broadband speeds available in your area as well as the speed at which your current provider is operating.

“There are a lot of people who could get faster speeds than what they are currently receiving,” said an Ofcom spokesperson.

“Customers should check if it’s possible to get faster speeds because they may find that upgrading to super-fast broadband is cheaper than the price they are currently paying.

It’s also a good idea to consider both the upload and download speeds offered by a particular provider, as download speeds may go unnoticed, but may be more important for some people.

While download speeds are relevant for browsing the web and downloading movies and music for example, download speeds are advantageous for those who need to send large files for business purposes or for chats. live video and online players.

Service levels are also an important consideration for some people.

Ofcom regularly publishes customer service and complaints data that can help educate people better when choosing a supplier.

Uswitch: choose the right speed for you

10Mbps is fine for someone who streams, but usually uses their broadband for low bandwidth activities like social media, email, or reading the news.

30 Mbps is for households with a few people who need to be online to work or study at the same time.

60 Mbps + is for more than 4 people using the internet in your home where people are streaming or playing simultaneously.

100 Mbps is if you have a large household or are an avid gamer, sustaining your internet needs with a super-fast connection might not be a bad idea.

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