How to save money on your home phone and broadband

Fancy saving a few hundred pounds on your phone and internet costs? Shopping around for better home phone and broadband deals can do just that. Find out about the help available if you miss a payment.

Best ways to save on landline and broadband bills

Home phone and broadband bills can be expensive, so we’ve pulled together a few tips to help keep your bills low. 

Match your deal to your needs

This will make sure you don’t 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 mean you have to take out expensive line rental.

Switching your home phone and broadband – the basics

It’s never been easier to change home phone and broadband provider. And you could save yourself hundreds of pounds on your bills.

You can ask your new supplier for more details. You’re unlikely to spend any time without a connection.

Here are some tips:

  • 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 when your bill shows up.
  • Watch out for promoted products. Many comparison sites take a commission when you switch through them. That means they might try to nudge you to pick a product over another, even if it’s not the best deal.
  • Which provider is best? You can find the latest customer satisfaction ratings for the large providers on the Ofcom website

The two ways to switch broadband

When you want to change your broadband supplier, there are two main ways to do it. ‘Gaining provider led’ or ‘cease and re-provide’. Here’s what those technical terms mean. 

Gaining provider led

This is when you tell your new broadband provider you’re leaving your old supplier. Tell and them who your old supplier is, and your new one will 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 change supplier this way.

Most contracts last between 12 and 24 months. When they’re finished, most providers let you cancel free of charge, with 30 days’ notice.

Cease and re-provide

This means you need to cancel with your old provider, as well as speaking 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 do this.

Be aware that there might be a charge for cancelling your contract.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure which one is for you. When you contact the provider you want to switch to, they’ll be able to tell you which process you need to follow.

Below are the steps you’ll need to take to switch your broadband using either system.

Steps to switching

Step one – 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.

They might be keen to keep you and you and so you might be able to haggle a cheaper deal. You can check at the same time how their cancellation process works.

Step two – Find your new broadband provider

You can do this by entering your postcode into a price comparison website. Here are the Ofcom-accredited comparison websites:

  • Broadband.co.uk – search by postcode or phone number for relevant deals in your area. Splits prices into monthly and annual cost and displays a reliability score.
  • Broadbanddeals – search by postcode. Prices are automatically shown in monthly costs, but they can be filtered by year.
  • BroadbandCompared – search by postcode.

You can also check out customer reviews of broadband suppliers on the Broadband.co.uk website

Compare the different packages and pick the best one for you. Remember not to just look at price. Match the deal to your needs, and check whether line rental is included.

Find out more about price comparison on the Ofcom website

Step three – 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 they’ll tell you if you’ll need to contact your old provider to cancel.

If you just need to tell your new provider

When using the gaining provider led process, you can apply to get your new broadband through:

  • a comparison website
  • on the company’s website or over the phone.

They’ll do the rest and let you know when your internet is switched over.

The prover you’re leaving will tell you if you’ll have to pay any early termination charges apply. And they’ll give you an idea of what the charge will be.

If you decide you don’t want to switch, you can cancel by contacting the new provider.

Keep in mind though that this might not apply if you’re switching to a broadband business with ten employees or fewer.

If you need to tell both providers

When using the cease and re-provide process, you’ll need to do your best to coordinate the end and start dates with both the broadband companies. This will make sure you’re without broadband for as little time as possible.

You won’t be automatically told of early exit fees, so you’ll need to check those with your existing provider.

Changing your mind

If you change your mind, regardless of how you need to switch, you have 14 days to cancel the switch before your new contract starts.

There are two ways to switch broadband – ‘gaining provider led’ and ‘cease and re-provide’.

The one you pick depends on which provider you’re switching to and from:

  • If you’re switching to or from a cable provider, such as Virgin Media, you’ll need to follow the ‘cease and re-provide’ process.
  • If you’re moving between broadband providers that use BT’s Openreach network (such as BT, EE, Sky and TalkTalk), you’ll use the ‘gaining provider led’ system.

Save money on your landline

Although more people rely on mobile phones, and home phone contracts are often bundled with broadband packages, there are still ways to cut your landline costs.

Here are some tips.

  • 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 people who are struggling financially, or have a certain disability. Find out more from your supplier.

Struggling to pay your broadband or phone bill?

If you need help, contact your provider as soon as possible and explain your situation. They might be able to help you out. This might include:

  • changing your bill date
  • setting up an affordable repayment plan
  • moving to a different tariff
  • removing data caps on fixed broadband services
  • not charging you penalties, such as late payment fees.

You might also be able to buy packages that include data boosts at low prices, or free landline phone calls.

If you’re struggling to pay your bill, your provider also shouldn’t disconnect you. This is unless it’s an absolute last resort when all other options have been exhausted.

If you’re vulnerable or self-isolating, and your provider can’t make priority repairs in your home, they should make sure you have alternatives to broadband or a landline.

What happens if I miss a payment?

If you’ve already missed more than one payment and are not able to come to an agreement with your provider, it’s best to get advice as soon you can. This is especially important if you’ve got other debts as well.

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MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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