As essential household utilities get more expensive, it seems internet bills are set for similar hikes too.
Taking a January inflation rate of 10.5% into consideration, it’s likely that service providers will add a customary 3-4% on top. This means broadband and mobile customers are expecting a whopping 14-15% increase on monthly tariffs in 2023.
While it’s normal for companies to revise prices each Spring, this year’s rise might leave more feeling the pinch.
What you can do to cut the costs
Firstly, find out if you’re free to switch from your current provider. If the minimum term on your broadband contract has expired, then you could be overpaying already.
As many as 40% of broadband bill payers are out of contract, paying on rolling monthly terms. These tariffs are usually higher than those of new customers, costing at least £162 per year more on average.
- Survey the market. Have a look at what deals your current and rival providers are offering to new customers to see what’s available.
- Try to negotiate. Armed with favourite deals, pitch these to your provider to see if they can match or beat these prices to keep you.
TIP: Comparison websites can help you find great broadband deals quickly and easily. Packages and suppliers vary across the UK, but by using a postcode checker you get a clearer idea of what’s available in your immediate area.
Don’t want to switch, haggle!
Even if you’re in a position to switch, the grass isn’t always greener elsewhere.
Many satisfied customers decide it’s not worth switching to a new, unproven provider – even if it will save them money.
But rather than ride out your contract and keep things ticking along, it’s possible to save up to £90 per year, even if you stick with the same provider. This is where haggling to achieve better renewal terms is important before resigning.
Is your broadband too slow?
Alternatively, you might find your broadband service level to be less satisfactory.
When signing up to a package, it should be subject to an estimated average speed and a minimum that customers can reasonably expect to achieve.
- Run online speed tests and log times of slow performance.
- Check your broadband contract terms for a minimum speed.
- If the speed is consistently below this, inform your provider.
If a provider isn’t able to fix the problem or offer you a better deal, your consumer rights will allow you to leave the contract without penalty.
TIP: If any contract is newly signed up and within your initial “cooling-off” period (14-days after activation) then you’re free to leave – no questions asked.
Have your financial circumstances changed or do you receive benefits?
Customers recognised as being financially disadvantaged could be eligible for social tariff broadband.
This can apply to low income families or for other reasons, such as disability benefits. You’ll get the same level of service on a social tariff, just at a discounted rate.
You can find more information on social tariff broadband packages from the leading UK providers, here:
Check the terms and conditions of each provider for eligibility and how to apply. Most are available to new and existing customers. This is especially useful if your circumstances have changed since signing up.
Some providers commit to price freezes
The expected price inflations in 2023 doesn’t mean everyone will adopt higher tariffs.
A competitive market means that smaller and more niche providers might use this as an opportunity to undercut mainstream rivals to entice customers away.
Maybe this could lead to more popular providers rethinking their prices, or freezing rates completely. Providers such as Hyperoptic and Gigaclear, for example, have committed to making no price rises mid-contract.
If you’re concerned about further price rises in the future, make the effort to shop around. Switching broadband is an easy process and in most cases, the provider does all the hard work for you.
In all cases, you should be looking for a broadband contract that suits your budget for both today and tomorrow!
What to do if you get caught in a broadband price rise is a feature post