Martin Lewis explains how to cut costs on broadband bundles
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Consumers are being urged to “contact their supplier” to see what assistance is readily available for them. This comes as many broadband providers in the UK implemented above-inflation increases to internet and phone bills, which has further exacerbated the issues people are having with the cost of living. Recently, the Government hosted a summit at Number 10 Downing Street with broadband providers to see what help can be provided to mitigate the impact of soaring inflation and bills.
Among the measures which were promised included allowing customers struggling with bills to move to cheaper deals without being charged.
Furthermore, broadband suppliers agreed to introduce manageable payment plans and improve their low cost offers, as well as increasing promotion of existing deals.
Notably, suppliers committed to exploring new ways of helping customers by introducing help through tariffs or means-tested support for claimants of Universal Credit.
Social tariffs are discounts designed to help people who are claiming benefit payments, such as Universal Credit.
Part of the new commitment by broadband suppliers is to make sure their customers are made aware of all financial help that is available to them.
Currently, social tariffs for those on Universal Credit are available for broadband consumers across the UK.
However, the Government’s latest move means anyone struggling to pay for their broadband due to inflation will be able to ask for support from their supplier.
Among the representatives who attended the Government summit were bosses from BT Group, Openreach, Virgin Media, O2, Vodafone, Three, TalkTalk and Sky.
Each signed the Government’s pledges to help their customers during the cost of living crisis, which was chaired by Nadine Dorries, the Digital Secretary.
Ms Dorries outlined why helping families with their broadband bills is vital in addressing the UK’s wider cost of living crisis.
The Government minister explained: “Families across the country face increased anxiety about keeping up with bills.
“So today I agreed with broadband and mobile industry bosses what more can be done to support people during this difficult time.
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“I’m pleased to report the industry is listening and has signed up to new commitments offering customers struggling with the cost of living help to stay connected.
“Those who need support should contact their supplier to see what is available.”
Sharing his thoughts on the meeting, Hamish MacLeod, the chief executive of Mobile UK, said: “Mobile operators welcome the commitments agreed upon today with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, which build on offers already in place to help the most vulnerable.
“We welcomed the chance to discuss with the Government not only how to raise awareness of such schemes but also to set out the further steps being taken to support those struggling with their bills.”
Andrew Glover, the chair of the Internet Service Providers’ Association, added: “The telecoms sector knows that people are facing real challenges with the cost of living crisis.
“Our members are determined to do what they can to help their customers through this period and, together with the Government, we will work to raise greater awareness of the support available.
“These commitments, along with the social tariffs that are available from many members, will hopefully help people in need at this challenging time.
“We encourage customers who are struggling with their bills to reach out to their broadband provider to get help.”
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