Written by
Frank Ascot, Business expert
, 18 May 2018

Looking to save a few hundred pounds on your phone and internet costs? Shopping around for better home phone and broadband deals can do just that.

- The average household can save £69 on their broadband bills by switching when their contract ends (uSwitch)

Best ways to save on landline and broadband bills

  • Switch supplier. Sticking with the same broadband and home phone provider can be expensive.
  • Match your deal to your needs - Otherwise you might spend money on data you don’t use, or get charged for going over your limit. If you’re not sure how much you use, ask your supplier.
  • Should you get line rental and broadband together? In most cases you need a landline to get broadband, but not all. Take into account your landline costs when looking at broadband prices as many seemingly cheap deals require you to take out expensive line rental.

Switching your home phone and broadband – the basics

The length of time your switch will take depends on which provider you’re switching from and to. You can ask your new supplier for more details.

You should seek to minimise or cut any time in the changeover process where you are without a connection.

  • Use more than one comparison website. They don’t all show the same deals and providers, so the more you check, the more likely you are to find a cheaper deal.
  • Look at the monthly and yearly costs in the breakdown. Know what you’re buying to avoid any unwelcome surprises, connection charges, termination charges, premium tariffs for exceeding account usage limits etc, when your bill shows up.
  • Watch out for promoted products. Many comparison sites take a commission when you switch through them and many of their B2B clients may not offer them the same commission rate or may have times of the year when they are pressing for more sign ups. That means that the comparison site might try to angle you to pick a product over another with banner ads or mention of special offers that highlight one aspect of the tariff, even if it’s not the best deal for your circumstances and/or the timeframe that you want to rent over. Be aware of these tactics.

The two ways to switch broadband

When you go to change who supplies your broadband, there are two main ways to do it.

  • Gaining provider led is when you just tell your new broadband provider you’re leaving and who your old supplier was, and they do the rest. If you’re moving between broadband providers that use BT’s Openreach network (such as BT, EE, Sky and TalkTalk), you’ll use this way.
  • The majority of contracts last between 12 and 24 months and once they’re finished, most providers let you cancel free of charge, with 30 days’ notice.
  • Cease and re-provide means you need to cancel with your old provider as well as go and speak to your new broadband company to get connected again. If you’re switching to or from a cable provider such as Virgin Media, you’ll need to follow this way. Be aware that there might be a charge for cancelling your contract.

Step 1 – Check your contract

Contact your broadband provider to check if you’re outside your minimum contact period or you might be liable for early exit fees. You can check at the same time how their cancelation process works. They might even offer you an improved contract or tariff rate if you may still be open to such arrangements

Step 2 – Find your new broadband provider

You can do this by entering your postcode into a price comparison website. We recommend using a few different comparison sites. Remember not to just look at price - match the deal to your needs...how much data allowance you need, how many of you need to be online, downloading speeds required etc. and check whether line rental is included.

Step 3 – Start the switching process

When you start the process by contacting your new provider they should be able to tell you which process you’ll follow, and if you’ll need to contact your old provider to cancel.

When using the gaining provider led process, you can apply through a comparison website, on the company’s website or over the phone to get your new broadband. They’ll do the rest and let you know when your internet is switched over.

You’ll also be automatically notified by the provider you’re leaving if any early termination charges apply, and be given an estimate of what the charge will be. If you decide you don’t want to switch, you can cancel by contacting the new provider.

  • Pay by Direct Debit. It’s usually the cheapest way to pay and it means you won’t forget.
  • Avoid peak calling times. Check when your supplier charges most for calls and do your best to avoid these times.
  • Do you qualify for a social tariff? Some providers have cheaper tariffs for those who are struggling financially and are seeking benefits or some sort of Governments payment credits, the elderly or have a certain disability. Speak to your supplier for more information.
Written by
Frank Business expert
, 18 May 2018

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