I’m on Universal Credit and saved £600 a year on broadband bills – here’s how you can too
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A WOMAN has shared how she has saved almost £600 a year on her broadband bills thanks to little-known deals that millions more could be eligible for.
Social tariffs are designed to help households in difficulty reduce the cost of essential services.
It is estimated that around four million households do not take advantage of these cheaper rates offered by broadband companies, and savings of around £250 per year on average.
Special rates for low-income households could make bills more affordable – but many don’t know about them.
A savvy saver managed to lower his bill with the offer and is encouraging others to do the same with a simple switch.
Share your savings on the Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK Facebook Groupshe said she managed to cut her TV, phone and internet bill from Sky from £69.50.
After switching to a Freesat box for TV, they switched to BT on its Essentials tariff for phone and broadband, costing it just £15 a month.
That’s a saving of £49.50 per month, or a whopping £594 per year.
A one-time cost of a Freeview box could reduce that amount slightly, although the Switch didn’t say how much it spent.
You can pick up one of the devices for just £35, or you can even see if you can get a used one cheaper or for free on sites like Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace.
It’s worth noting that this may have fewer channels though, depending on the TV package you’re paying for.
She has also saved around £60 a year by looking for a cheaper social rate, rather than switching to the one offered by her current provider.
She said: “I phoned Sky to cancel the TV package and asked for a better deal on my phone and broadband, they said they could do it for £22 a month and it there would be a £10 administration charge.
“My good friend Richard then told me that BT had a deal for £15 a month phone and broadband for people on benefit. So I phoned Sky today to cancel and I left with BT.”
Not all broadband providers offer these special rates, but BT and Sky are among those that do.
Cheap offers on benefits
You will usually qualify for these cheap offers if you apply for benefits, but exact eligibility will depend on the provider.
What you get and the price may also vary.
For instance, BT Home Essentials costs £15 a month for broadband and phone with average speeds of up to 67MB.
You can get it if you get Universal Credit or Pension Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income Support.
Meanwhile, Sky Broadband Basics from Sky is for existing Sky customers who have Universal Credit or Pension Credit
For £20 a month they get 36Mbs broadband for 18 months, instead of the usual £25 cost. Now TV customers can also benefit from a similar offer.
Many of these offers also allow you to exit mid-contract at no cost.
But if you’re switching from a normal offer to these cheaper fares, check first if there’s an exit fee so you don’t get stung with an unexpected bill.
The exact amount you could save depends on the contract you currently have and the one you are switching to.
You can consult the complete list of social tariffs available in our guide.
How to save money on your broadband bill
Using a comparison site helps you check all available offers in one place.
When comparing what’s on offer, check that it’s the right speed for your needs.
Companies also often offer introductory offers to new customers, which could bring the price down even further.
You can also try haggling with your current provider to get the cheapest deal you’ve found elsewhere.
Martin Lewis once advised those who haggle to be polite and charming to increase your chances of lowering your bills.
A Virgin Media customer recently got £264 a year off his bill just for asking for a discount.
They don’t have to match it, but it’s worth a try, and if they don’t, you can always move on to the better deal.
But note that moving while you’re still under contract can cost you money in exit fees, so check first.
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