Finding the Best Value Broadband Package

Finding the Best Value Broadband Package

Getting a great value broadband package is one of the easiest ways you can save money on household bills, but what should you look for when comparing offers to ensure you have the best deal at the right price? Here we’ll show you a few ways you can save money on a broadband contract.

Contract lengths and cancellation fees

Before we delve into money-saving tips it’s important to note the potential expense involved in cancelling a broadband contract.

If you’re not yet out of the minimum contract term (or at least very close to the end of it) then cancelling can be costly. It is generally better to stick with the provider until the contract ends to avoid these fees.

To avoid this in the future always choose a broadband contract length that fits your living arrangements. If you have no immediate plans that may impact the broadband service, you’ll get the best value from a contract length of 12-24 months. But if you know you may have to cancel in less than a year it is worth looking at short term and rolling monthly deals. Students can also find student broadband deals with nine-month contracts.

Switch early, switch often

The best deals are often reserved for new customers, so a simple way of ensuring you’ve always got a good value broadband package is to switch to the latest deal as soon as your contract expires.

Check the small print though: some providers exclude previous customers from these offers.

But you don’t always need to go through with the switch to get a better deal. Calling your current ISP and telling them you want to leave may result in them offering you a new package. Just remember that this will mean signing up for another contract, so you are going to be locked in with them again for up to 24 months.

Choosing the right speed

Not everyone needs ultrafast fibre optic broadband. If your internet usage is mainly web browsing, email and social media then a cheap ADSL service is more than sufficient (and still perfectly capable of handling video streaming, online gaming, downloads and other demanding tasks).

On the other hand, there’s no sense in focusing on price alone and getting a service that’s not up to scratch. If the connection is serving multiple users in a family or shared home, or you’re someone who wants to download quickly and stream high def video, then it’s worth signing up for a faster fibre optic service. For more information, use Broadband Genie’s guide to fibre optic broadband.

On a related note, we would generally recommend avoiding packages with a monthly data usage limit. These can be suitable for one person with very simple requirements but it’s extremely easy nowadays to burn through a data cap in no time at all and find your speed restricted for the rest of the month or, even worse, paying out more due to the extra fees. Unlimited broadband is the best option for most of us.

Special offers and free gifts

The broadband market is competitive so there’s always a selection of special offers. Sometimes these are just a nice bonus, or they can add up to a significant cost saving.

Special offers can include:

  • Discounted monthly pricing
    It’s common for providers to offer a cheaper monthly rate for a set period, and the best deals will cut the price for the entire term of the contract. These can be really good value, but make sure it remains affordable after the discount ends.
  • Free setup
    Standard setup costs vary from around £10 up to £60, depending on the type of service and package, so a free setup offer is not necessarily going to save you a huge amount in the grand scheme of things. It’s also important to note that free setup will not apply if you require a new phone line installation.
  • Shopping vouchers
    Shopping vouchers are a popular free gift. Sometimes these will be for specific stores (M&S and Amazon are popular) or they may be valid at an array of high street outlets. Typically, you can find ISPs offering £25-£100 worth, and when this is taken off the total annual cost of the broadband it can be a big money saver.
  • Pre-paid credit cards
    Even better than shopping vouchers are credit cards pre-loaded with a cash limit that can be spent just about anywhere. The only catch may be that you don’t always receive an actual physical card, which limits their use to online stores.
  • Cashback
    Cashback deals come in the form of either a cheque or a bill credit. It’s a welcome saving, but the amounts tend to be smaller than voucher or credit card offers so these are not usually as enticing. Do read the small print so you know when and how the money should be reimbursed, and to see whether it requires you to fill out an application form.

 

Make High Electricity Prices A Thing Of The Past With This Handy Guide

If you are looking to get the best possible electricity prices for your household, there are a number of things you can do to help you on your way.

In this blog I discuss a number of considerations to have in mind, from simply doing your bit round the house, to shopping around for the best possible deal.

Shop Around And Switch Things Up

Many people think it is overly complicated, but actually switching providers regularly is one of the more simple options when it comes to cutting electricity prices.

Look out for the best deal on the market when your current deal is coming to an end. Specifically, you want to time it so you can reap any bonuses such as annual discounts, and avoid any early leaver penalties. Therefore, knowing the ins and outs of your current contract is essential, so do a bit of research there first of all, before you even start to shop around for other deals.

Still Getting A Paper Bill? – Stop Now!

Another simple option is to change the way you pay, this can often help cut down electricity prices even if it is only by a few pounds – especially if you currently pay by cash or cheque.

Go paperless and also look online to see what special online only deals are available. Continue reading

Virgin Media Unlimited TV Ad Banned

virgin mediaVirgin Media has had its’ knuckles wrapped by the Advertising Standard Agency about the company’s unlimited broadband adverts.

The ASA received several complaints, including complaints from the public, BskyB and BT, who teamed up against Virgin to get the complaint upheld. Their complaint was that customers could not in fact have unlimited access to films, music and television content because of a traffic management policy implemented by Virgin Media that limits customer’s broadband speed  by half if they use too much bandwidth.

Broadband providers are permitted to say that their services are unlimited even if the slow down user speeds as long as it is clearly stated in the company’s advertising, if it isn’t it can be construed as misleading. Continue reading

Read the fine print when getting cell phone contracts

Read the fine print when getting cell phone contracts

The fine print is a part of life now. It is the reason why we must spend hours combing through every contract in which we participate, and why people with bad eyesight must never read print advertisements. It is legal up to a certain extent to have these on contracts, but this extent is loosely-defined enough that the various lawyers who write up these binding documents can put them around without a problem.

Cell phone contracts are not immune to fine print, and indeed they can dupe consumers into paying far more than they have to, or get them into agreements that they did not fully understand. As a rule, always read everything in a contract, but especially with something that causes you to regularly pay money over a certain period of time, like what postpaid plans require you to.

Without reading fine print, it becomes very easy to miss the fact that, for example, the trial period of a particular plan is 14 days instead of 30 days, with the latter being relatively standard and easy to assume. Continue reading

Energy Suppliers Urge Home Owners to Get Free Insulation.

Department of Energy and Climate ChangeThe main 6 British energy companies are preparing to make a final push in an attempt to meet their energy efficiency targets. They are doing this by urging people who own their homes to get free loft and cavity wall insulation worth £350 before the government backed scheme ends at the end of 2012.

The energy companies have to meet their carbon emissions reduction targets (Cert) which have been set by the Department of Energy and Climate Change in a bid to make UK homes more energy efficient.

The companies have to of provided a target number of installations of the insulation by the end of the year. Most of the companies are believed to have reached their targets or be close to doing so. Continue reading

5 Tips to Save Energy in Your Home

piggy bankThe cost of electricity for domestic purposes increased by 8.3 percent in real terms between Q1 2011 and Q1 2012 in the United Kingdom. On average, a household paid 37 pounds more for electricity in 2011 than in 2010. Today, a 10 per cent increase in energy prices is expected each year, putting already strained domestic users under further financial stress.

This increase highlights the need to save energy around the house, not just for monetary reasons, but also for the environment. By making a few changes in your house, you can drastically reduce your electricity bill, and lower your carbon footprint. Continue reading