#MoneySavingHacks: Broadband deals

How to cut your broadband monthly costs in half

This week we’re kicking off a new series of blog posts full of money-saving hacks to help you save money. Stay tuned for savings tips on electricity, broadband, water, groceries, transport, and lots more.

We start the series giving you insights on how to cut your broadband monthly costs in half.

You may think you’re getting a good deal, but competition is stiff and providers are always looking for ways to attract new customers. That’s good news if you’re considering making the switch.

It is possible to save money on your broadband, receive gifts or feature upgrades without leaving your seat. This guide, made by Jamie Kavanagh, contributor at Broadband Genie, will cover everything you need to know to get a better broadband deal.

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Before you leave your current broadband contract

Before you start shopping for a new deal, you need to check where you are with your existing contract first. What kind of notice do you have to give? Can you leave without paying any early termination fees? What are your rights to cancel?

Broadband contract notice periods

Most broadband contracts will have a minimum notice period. If you have completed the fixed term part of your contract, you will switch to a rolling 30-day monthly contract. As such, most providers will require 30 days notice from you before switching.

Not all broadband providers will require a full 30 days notice, so be sure to check with your provider.

Can you leave without paying any early termination fees?

When you sign up for a broadband contract, you will usually sign for a fixed term of 12, 18 or 24 months. Once you have completed that time, you switch to the rolling contract mentioned above. If you have completed your fixed term you can switch providers for free, giving the standard notice period completely free.

If you are within that fixed term, you can still cancel your contract at any time but you will be subject to an early termination fee. This is usually your monthly payment multiplied by the number of months you have left, but providers calculate it on an individual basis so yours may differ.

Mid-contract price rises and your rights to cancel

Broadband providers are permitted to increase the cost of your contract by the cost of inflation as long as they made it clear that might happen before you signed up. If costs increased and you were not warned of this, or the price goes up beyond inflation, you should have the right to cancel for free.

Providers must give you at least 30 days notice of any price increase and offer you the chance to leave your contract free if you choose to.

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Finding a new broadband deal

The broadband market has matured a lot in recent years, so finding a new deal is as easy as switching energy providers. Here are some common questions we often hear when discussing new broadband contracts.

What’s the ideal contract length?

The ideal contract length depends on your circumstances. Longer contracts are often cheaper but will be more expensive to cancel early. Short contracts may offer more flexibility but will be more expensive each month.

What is broadband speed right for me?

If you have a large household with multiple people that will be all using the internet simultaneously, you’ll need faster broadband to keep everyone happy. For smaller households or less frequent internet use, slower speeds should be fine. Anything over 5Mbps is excellent for individuals mostly using it for email and web browsing, but the more people sharing the connection and the more demands they place on it, the faster it will need to be

Are bundle deals worth the money?

Bundle deals, where you get broadband, landline, TV and perhaps mobile as one package can be great value if you use all those things. If you usually buy them separately there are savings to be had. If you don’t need everything that the bundle offers you may save money by buying them separately.

Are gifts and reward vouchers worth it?

Lots of broadband deals include shopping vouchers, pre-paid credit cards and, less commonly, gifts such as tablets and Bluetooth speakers. These can sometimes add up to a substantial amount, and if you consider them when calculating the overall cost of a deal can make some packages very cheap. But don’t neglect essential aspects such as speed, contract length, and monthly price. Consider freebies the cherry on top, but don’t let them sway you toward a deal which is otherwise not the best fit for your needs.

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Three steps to a better broadband deal

Once you know if you can cancel for free and whether a gift or bundle deal is worth the money, it’s time to go and get yourself a deal. Here are three tips for doing just that.

Research the market

Knowledge is power, and nowhere is that more tru than with broadband. Knowing what’s out there and at what price will enable you to make informed decisions about your next contract. Use price comparison sites, research with providers directly and learn as much as you can about what deals are available.

Compare all providers that cover your area, but don’t sign a new contract just yet.

Negotiating a better deal

Before you leave your current provider, if all went well and you received the quality of service you expected, ask them what they will offer you to remain as a customer. Providers are a lot more willing to negotiate than they used to be.

Armed with the information from your research, tell your provider that you’re looking at your options, let them know the best deal you found and ask them if they can beat it. You never know, they might do that!

Staying may be better than going

Sometimes even if your current provider doesn’t offer the cheapest deal, if you’re otherwise happy with their service you may prefer to stay. Staying also means you can avoid any early termination fees, any new setup fees, and any other costs associated with switching broadband. But if you go this route, you should always take the time to try negotiating a better price.

As long as you have done your research and are happy you’re still getting a good deal, there is no wrong answer here!

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