Martin Lewis is well known for providing expert financial advice to ITV viewers, and today he appeared on This Morning to talk about the best way to secure cheap broadband.The money Saving Expert revealed the key is to pounce on short-lived super-cheap deals, and now is the time to do it, with customers likely to cut costs by £100s. Speaking with This Morning presenters Eammon and Ruth Holmes, he explained: “If you’ve had broadband for over a year with the same provider, you’re likely massively overpaying. “Broadband is a forgotten bill, the cost drips out of your account. Yet it’s worth thinking about how much you spend a year on it. Remember in truth you’re almost always locked in to having a landline with it as well so you need to add the two costs together and they’re frightening. Here’s the main out of contract standard costs with the big firms.”
He revealed the current prices for broadband, which are:
- BT standard: £45/mth (£540/yr), fibre: £52/mth (£624/yr)
- Sky standard: £30/mth (£360/yr), fibre: £37/mth (£444/yr)
- TalkTalk standard: £30/mth (£360/yr), fibre: £36/mth (£432/yr)
- Virgin: £44/mth (£528/yr) – it only does fibre
However, he said that broadband users could get a much better deal.
He continued: “The cheap way to get broadband is to pounce on a promo deal. These are usually via comparison sites and only last a week or two. They change all the time. Often what they do is rather than reducing the price straight, their marketing budget means you get incentive vouchers or gift cards. So I’m going to factor that in over a year and give you the cost without calls.”
Speaking to viewers, he shared some of the best current details.
- Standard broadband and line: Newbies to Post Office broadband going via comparison site Broadband Genie (available to 90% of country) can get average 11Mb speeds on a 12mth contract for £15.90/mth (or £191/yr). You can also claim a £50 Amazon voucher (diarise as you won’t get a reminder). Take that into account and it works out at £141/yr (equivalent to £11.74/mth).
- Fast fibre broadband and line. Newbies to Vodafone broadband going via comparison sites including Broadband Choices and Confused.com can pay £21/month and get average 35MB speed on an 18-month contract. Plus you can claim a £75 Amazon, Currys PC World, John Lewis or M&S voucher, and an Amazon Echo Plus speaker (worth c.£140). Take the voucher into account and it works out equivalent to £17.39/mth (plus of course the speaker on top). This deal ends this Friday.
- Superfast fibre: Two deals here. The fastest is a super cheap deal from Virgin Media with average 108Mb speed (available to 50 per cent of UK) on 12 month contract for £25/month, but you also get a £75 bill credit (which means the first three months are free) – so over the year you pay £225, or equivalent to £18.75/month. But this is only available via Martin’s comparison site linked above and ends on Thursday.
If customers aren’t able to get broadband with Virgin, they could get another deal with Vodafone, which gives average 63Mb speed on an 18 month contract via the same sites as above (available to 90% of country) for £27/mth plus a £10 set up fee.
Martin reminded viewers broadband deals are postcode dependent. By using Martin’s Broadband Unbundled tool customers can find the best deal.
Will people really get the speed advertised?
Due to a change in the law, customers will now get the speed advertised.
“In May 2018, providers changed from advertising an ‘up to’ speed (which meant only 10 per cent of its customers had to get the advertised rate) to now showing an ‘average speed’ which is received by at least 50 per cent of the providers customers between 8pm and 10pm – when most people are online,” Martin explained.
What happens when you switch – will people loose connectivity?
Customers don’t usually need to tell their current provider they’re moving.
“The new firm does the communication work (unless if switching to or from Virgin – then, you must tell your old provider). And generally on the day you’re installing your new broadband you’re only likely to be offline for a few hours, or maybe hardly at all – if you’re at work you may not even notice it,” Martin said.
He also informed viewers they could also be entitled to compensation from their broadband provider, if they’re broadband isn’t fixed quick enough or there’s issues with it being set up.
This is due to voluntary scheme joined by BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin and Zen Internet in April.
For those who are happy with their current provider, however, and don’t want to switch, Martin advised they “haggle” with the company in order to get the best deal.
He said: “Use the cheap prices I’ve mentioned as a benchmark. Then call up, especially if you’re out of contract, and ask for a better deal – explain it’s too costly or you can’t afford it.
“Be polite and charming, not aggressive, and if it says no, then tell it you’re going to leave and ask to be put through to disconnections, known internally as ‘customer retentions’. As their job is to keep you, they have much greater discretion to give you better deals.”
He continued: “If it won’t match the price then do consider going elsewhere. You may find just cancelling gives you a better deal, as happened to Ashleigh who sent me a letter saying when she left Sky paying £67/month, three weeks later they sent her a letter offering her the same service for £27/mth.
“Yet if you don’t want to leave and you’re worried they’ll disconnect you, then if that happens just say: “I need to check with my husband/wife/canary first.”
The Money Saving Expert recently revealed the best saving accounts to get with the highest interest rates.