Broadband price increase: stay connected without breaking the bank

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Ahead of a possible broadband and mobile phone bill rise in April, a personal finance expert has offered her advice on how to avoid hefty fee increases.

A new year can often mean increased costs when it comes to the services we pay for to keep our homes connected.

This April, households across the country could see their broadband and mobile phone bills rise as much as 7.9%, as a result of the recently announced Consumer Price Index (CPI Inflation Rate) of 4%.

Every year, services like broadband or mobile phone providers increase their monthly cost for customers, often through a scheduled rise in the contract, and tied roughly to the Consumer Price Index, a measurement of the average change in prices paid by consumers over a period of time for a basket of goods and services.

But is there anything consumers can do to avoid hefty price rises, even if you’re under contract? Maxine McCreadie, from UK Debt Expert, shares her top tips on what Brits can do to get the most bang for their buck.

 

1. Negotiate with your supplier

The saying goes, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get’ and this can be true when dealing with broadband providers.

You might be surprised by how far some providers might go to keep you on the books, including offering you an improved deal such as increased connection speeds or a discount on your existing deal. In a recent Radio Times poll 13% of those surveyed were considering a switch in the next year, so your provider will be in no hurry for you to go anywhere.

Unfortunately, none of this is guaranteed but it can’t hurt to ask, and if you’re lucky, you might just walk away with a better deal.

 

2. Consider packaging your services together

If you have multiple services in your home, it could prove cheaper across the board to pool your services together under one contract.

There are a number of possible benefits to combining services, the obvious one being that it’s simple and convenient to have all your services under one provider, one contract.

Another possible advantage is suppliers might offer a discount if you choose to combine services, especially if you’re a new customer, although this is guaranteed.

3. Don’t be afraid to shop around

If you reach a dead-end when talking with your current provider, it might be time to have a look around to see what other deals are out there and this is where price comparison sites like Uswitch, MoneySavingExpert and MoneySuperMarket should be your first port of call.

One thing to keep in mind is that you may have to incur early exit fees should you decide to switch.

Whether you incur a fee to leave will vary depending on your provider, while many of the major broadband suppliers have annual rises built into their contracts. Some providers on the other hand have either no annual price rises like Hyperoptic, or some will offer free cancellation or switch to another provider within 30 days like Sky.

 

4. Take advantage of introductory offers

If you do make the decision to switch, keep an eye out for introductory offers.

While often tied to long contracts. some of the big providers often offer good value-for-money deals to new customers, such as discounts on monthly costs for the first year or even paying nothing at all for the first six months. Some providers may even offer vouchers or discount offers at high street brands too as part of their sign-up offers.

As with any offer, be sure to keep an eye out for the offer expiry date as this can often mean an increase to full price after this period. Thankfully, Ofcom regulations require suppliers to notify you of any contract end date or price increases but it’s important to stay vigilant.

 

Ban will give consumers a “more accurate overview”

Maxine added: “Price rises are never good news and can often feel unfair that the contracted price you agree on, will rise each year. Thankfully, the latest Ofcom proposal to ban mid-contract rises in its current form will come into effect in the next couple of years, meaning telecom companies will need to provide any scheduled increase in real terms (pounds and pence) upfront.

“Hopefully, this will give consumers a more accurate overview of what they’re signing up for and crucially, if they can afford it. If not, people are free to shop around to find a deal that’s right for them, and not tied into long unaffordable contracts.”

Maxine McCreadie

Maxine McCreadie

Author/Debt Expert

Maxine McCreadie, prominent personal finance writer featured in Vogue and Yahoo News, delivers practical guidance, simplifying money management and championing financial literacy.

How we reviewed this article:

HISTORY

Our debt experts continually monitor the personal finance and debt industry, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

Current Version

February 27 2024

Written by
Maxine McCreadie

Edited by
Ben McCormack

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