Struggling UK households are set to see their budgets squeezed even tighter this Spring as consumers continue to brave the cost-of-living crisis in 2023. Broadband and mobile phone providers can increase prices mid-contract by the rate of inflation plus an extra amount on top (usually around 4 percentage points), as set out in their terms and conditions.
This year, several of the firms blame the increases on their underlying and operating costs going up substantially as a result of regulatory requirements, higher energy prices and increased network costs.
Many of Britain’s major telecom providers adjust their prices in line with the Consumer Price Index or Retail Price Index. Therefore, if inflation continues to spiral throughout 2023, many providers could increase their charges from 13 per cent up to 17.9 per cent.
Money-saving experts are suggesting consumers look ahead of April and compare the latest deals on the market to see how much they could switch and save.
Here are 5 tips to ensure you’re securing yourself the best Broadband and mobile deals this April:
- Switching provider: A recent 2022 USwitch survey estimated that 7 million people are currently out of contract on their broadband, which means they could be paying less if they shopped around. Shopping around for the best deals available ahead now using price comparison websites such as USwitch or compare UK Broadband deals will help you find the cheapest prices in your area and can prevent a sudden increase to your bank account and bills come April. Switching is often considered the best way to save money on broadband as you’ll be able to take advantage of special offers for new customers that come with additional perks.
- Negotiate with provider: If you have been a loyal customer to your broadband or mobile contract provider for several years, money-saving experts have suggested to contact your provider to discuss the options of better deals, or they may provide you with an exclusive customer retention deal for your loyal custom. Providers reserve their best deals for new customers, so you may not get the same deal as you see advertised online, but you can still save money by discussing the options for deals. If your provider refuses to match deals from competitors or offer the same price it is offering new customers, it is probably time to start looking elsewhere.
- Unbundle your bundle: Recent research from LitFibre found 79% respondents said they have a telephone line at home but only 42% use it regularly, with another 34% using it sometimes, and a quarter of respondents (24%) never using it. If you are no longer making using of you telephone line, calling your provider to discuss the option to un-bundle can save you money in the long term.
- Social Tariff: For those on a low income or certain benefits, it is worth looking at social tariff broadband packages, which are cheaper deals offered by all the major broadband companies. If you receive one of the following state benefits, chances are, you are eligible for social tariff broadband: Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Universal Credit.
- Check your contract fine-print: Several major broadband firms, such as BT, EE, Plusnet, TalkTalk and Vodafone, raise prices every April in line with the consumer price index. These price increases are applied to affected customers’ bills even if they are within their minimum contract period, leaving them with little choice but to accept them. This is because they are included in the T&Cs set out in your contract. Broadband and mobile contracts typically last either 18 or 24 months, so why not switch to a broadband supplier such as LitFibre that do not introduce mid-contract price hikes and send customers loyalty rewards.
Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.