Savings advice: How to avoid end-of-contract price rises
If your broadband contract is about to end, you could be facing a costly price increase. You might already be out of contract and not even know it. And that means you should be looking for a better deal.
Here’s a guide to avoiding out-of-contract price increases.
What are out-of-contract price increases?
Falling out of contract means your fix-termed deal has finished. And because the terms of that deal no longer apply, broadband providers can hike up your monthly bill.
But broadband providers can’t increase your bills out of contract without warning you first. By law, they’re obliged to send a notification of the contract end date. This is usually a letter or email; you should receive it at least one month before the contract expires.
Why does it matter if I’m out of contract?
You need to know if you’re out of contract. Being out of contract means you’re free to shop around for better deals and switch providers without paying an expensive exit fee.
According to research from uSwitch, seven million customers in the UK are out of contract on their broadband deal. And many have no idea that they’re paying more than they need to. uSwitch estimates that the average out-of-contract household overpays by around £162 yearly!
Adelana Carty, a broadband expert at Uswitch, says, “Broadband customers who are out-of-contract may not realise that their deal will be increasing,”
“These customers face a double whammy of extra costs, as they are paying over the odds due to being out-of-contract and seeing their bills increase by up to 9.3% as well.”
“If you are out of contract with your broadband supplier, there has never been a better time to save yourself money. Do a comparison today and see what deals are available.”
Why are broadband prices rising so high?
Inflation is the progressive increase in the price of goods and services. It’s central to our current economic models. But global events and periods of financial instability (like lockdowns and international conflicts) can speed up inflation, causing prices to rise much faster than wages.
Everybody, including business owners, is forced to pay more for the things they need. So to protect their profit margins – or simply stay in business – many companies pass those extra costs onto you – their customers.
I’m still in contract, and my bills have gone up. What can I do?
Most providers include a clause in their terms and conditions stating they can increase your monthly bills during the agreed contract term. And, unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do about this. Cancelling or switching would activate an exit fee. Failure to pay can result in legal action, which affects your credit rating.
But you can break broadband contracts penalty-free if the price rise exceeds the inflation rate. If this is the case, you have 30 days from when you were notified to cancel the contract and switch to another provider, free of charge.
You can find the latest inflation figures on the Office of National Statistics website.
I’m out of contract. When can I switch to a current provider?
Out-of-contract customers have no legal or contractual obligation to their current broadband provider. There are no exit fees or other penalties for changing broadband services once your contract expires.
You can switch anytime. All you need to do is give your provider one month’s notice.
Switching providers when you’re out of contract
Here’s a short, step-by-step guide to switching providers out of contract.
Find out if you’re out of contract. Look through correspondence from your provider. Alternatively, give them a call and ask when your contract has expired. This is an excellent opportunity to renegotiate a better deal.
If you’re still ready to switch, it’s time to start the search. There are dozens of providers and hundreds of deals to explore. Using a comparison site like Broadband Market is the best and quickest way to find the best offers available in your local area.
Pick the best deal. Notify your current provider. Make the switch. Start saving money every month. It really is that easy.
Broadband providers don’t want customers to understand how out-of-contract price rises work. But you do. So use your new knowledge to take back control and keep more of your hard-earned money where it belongs – and that’s in your pocket, not theirs!
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