Slash broadband bills with these tariffs going unclaimed by 95% of potential users | Personal Finance | Finance

Individuals who claim Universal Credit, Pension Credit, or other types of benefits may be entitled to discounted broadband fees, also known as social tariffs.

Social tariffs help ensure that everyone can afford and benefit from online opportunities regardless of financial circumstances.

Recent statistics revealed that 5.3 million UK households are on Universal Credit – a 10.2 percent rise since 2022.

Despite this large rise just 5.1 percent of those eligible for social tariffs claim them, and less than half (47 percent) are aware of the discount.

Amid rising costs, broadband experts at Independent Advisor Broadband have provided insight into social tariffs and what to do if you are eligible for the discount.

Top expert tips for navigating social tariffs:

Check if you are eligible:

If someone in your household claims any of the following benefits, you may be entitled to social tariffs:

It is important to note that each broadband provider will have varied eligibility criteria; therefore, prior research into each broadband plan is advised. In order to be eligible for the discounted rates, the person claiming the benefit must be the primary name on the contract.

Explore different broadband options

The cost of social tariffs will not only differ across broadband plans, but are also dependent on the internet speed. Research all available social tariff plans from different internet service providers to find the best fit for your needs and circumstances.

Gemma Ryles, Broadband deals expert, provides the following comment: “Some broadband providers will offer deals that are either cheaper or similarly priced compared to social tariffs.

„However, it’s worth considering a few factors before making a decision. Firstly, make sure to evaluate the terms and conditions of both options carefully.

„While the upfront cost might be lower with the standard deal, social tariffs often come with additional long-term benefits, such as protection against mid-contract price hikes throughout the duration of your contract.”

Applying for a social tariff

Contact your current broadband provider to see if they offer social tariff plans. If you are in a fixed-term contract, you will not be expected to pay an early exit fee if you want to move to your current provider’s social tariff. 

It is also worth noting that some broadband providers, i.e, Sky Broadband, will only allow current customers to switch to a social tariff plan, not external customers.

Switching broadband providers

If your current provider does not offer social tariff plans, you are able to switch to one that does. 

This will cost you no additional fees if you are at the end of your contract; however, if you are mid-contract, you may be expected to pay an early exit fee when changing to a different provider.

Miss Ryles said: ”Social tariffs are essential for ensuring fair access to broadband services, especially for low-income individuals. These discounted plans make internet access more affordable, bridging the digital divide.

„It is highly advised that any individual claiming benefits check if they are eligible for these programs as they could be saving you up to £20 per month while enabling access to crucial online resources like education and employment opportunities.”

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