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How to save on your broadband costs

broadbandspeedLast year I wrote about the terrible broadband service I was getting from BT. In a nutshell, I was paying £42.99 a month, including line rental, for a speed of 50 MBS when I was actually getting 25 MBS.

Since then, BT have made some improvements to the cabinet at the top of Minted Avenue. When I checked on Monday, my speed is now up to 31.21 MBS. (SMM tip: use this handy speedchecker to find out your own speed. There are also ones at BT online and the price comparison websites.)

Unfortunately, my bill has also gone up to £45.49. This is another irritation: your broadband provider is allowed to jack up their prices mid-contract, theoretically in line with inflation.

Mercifully, that contract is nearly up. I really want to leave BT because there are so many better deals out there for a more realistic 35 MBS. Minted HQ just doesn’t have the infrastructure to get up to 50 MBS and never will. I am wasting money signing up to the higher speed. I looked on uSwitch* to see what was available. Sure enough there’s a 36 MBS deal with TalkTalk for £22.50 a month with no set up fees – practically half of what I’m paying now.

The only thing that’s stopping me leaving BT is that I will lose my free BT email address. I can keep it as a non-customer, I’ll just have to pay £7.50 a month for the privilege.

Bearing all this in mind, I rang up BT to see what they had to say about it all. I did manage to extract a monthly discount of £5.50. I’ve also got a new router for free (worth £300, so they say) which should get a strong signal to all parts of the house. That was £9.99 in delivery though.

While I’m not 100% satisfied with the deal, it’s not as bad as it was. Hopefully I’ll be able to look at my phone in the attic too – or at least the kids will. The moral of the tale is always to speak to a person to try to get a better price. There’s a note to self as well: spend the next 18 months migrating all my BT email to a new Yahoo address.

Finally, if you’re not getting the speed you signed up for, you’re legally allowed to break the broadband contract without penalty. And, in the latest news, BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet have joined Ofcom's voluntary scheme to automatically compensate customers who experience delays in repairs or installations. Plusnet, Vodafone and EE are already in the scheme.

For more tips, see our SMM guide to saving on TV. 

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Friday, 19 April 2019