If your broadband package is out of contract and you don’t know about it, you could be paying more than you need to be. This is known as the “loyalty penalty” and you could be one of over 20 million broadband subscribers estimated to be out of contract.
If you want to cut the cost of your broadband and you’re out of contract, it’s time to start looking for a new deal.
How much could you be paying?
The difference between how much you’re paying now and how much you could be paying is likely to surprise.
To learn more, use a broadband comparison site to check cheap deals from other providers. You might also check what your own internet service provider (ISP) is offering new customers, just to get an idea of the market.
Make a note of the best offers (including those from your ISP), then make a decision.
You don’t have to switch – haggle to save money
Before signing up for a new broadband account, speak to your current provider. They may offer a good deal to keep your custom. See if they can match any of the deals you have found. While they might not be able to meet the price, your ISP may still be able to bundle in some attractive extras. Games consoles, gift vouchers, discounts on new smartphones and tablets, and TV streaming boxes are all common incentives.
When dealing with broadband companies on the phone, keep a level head, be polite, and kind. Aggressive, surly behaviour doesn’t get the best results; being decent can get you a good deal.
Switch! New customers always get the best deals
If you find yourself without an attractive offer from your current ISP, it’s time to seriously consider an alternative.
You may have noticed that your ISP offers better deals to new customers. This is true across the market, so find the deal that offers the best speed and price. Once you have signed up, remember to cancel your current contract.
It’s common for the provider to do that as part of the switching service, but keep an eye on your emails for messages concerning the status of both accounts. If it seems no changes have been made to the current broadband subscription after a couple of weeks, chase it up.
Calculate the effective monthly cost
Not sure if it’s worth switching?
You should calculate the effective monthly cost of the deal. Do this by multiplying the monthly subscription by the length of the contract, then deduct the value of any free gifts and incentives, add the set-up fees to this total. Then, finally, divide it by the contract length. This will give you an “effective monthly cost”.
Once you’ve done this, you should have a clear idea of the total cost of the deal, and whether it is worth switching.
Embrace the change, save money
Changing broadband provider is usually straightforward, but if you’re changing infrastructure (e.g., from Openreach fibre to Virgin Media fibre) things can be a bit trickier.
Before switching, be sure to research the pros and cons of your potential new broadband provider. Check reviews, get an idea of the quality of service, and make the most of the new connection in the first 14 days; that’s the period when you get to cancel free of charge if your broadband connection isn’t up to speed.