‘Buy or haggle for the best deal!’ Universal Credit applicants could get £144 off broadband | Personal Finance | finance
Beneficiaries of the benefit payment, administered by the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP), are entitled to rebates on their broadband bills. These discounts are known as social tariffs and are available from most of the country’s leading internet and communications providers. The deals are designed to help the UK’s most vulnerable citizens who are on low incomes and claim Universal Credit.
Media regulator Ofcom recently asked broadband providers to do more to promote their social plan offers to their customers.
The regulator confirmed that 4.2 million households across the country are eligible for social tariff support.
However, of those households taking advantage of Universal Credit or other means-tested benefits, only 55,000 have signed up so far.
This means millions of people in the UK could get a significant discount on their broadband.
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Various consumer groups, including which?, are urging Britons to “shop or haggle” in the broadband market to see what deals they might be eligible for.
Researching other broadband options could be beneficial for Universal Credit applicants, as they may be able to claim cheaper social tariffs.
Depending on the provider, different companies offer minor changes to the offerings they offer to beneficiaries.
While the average bill is between £25 and £30 a month, social tariffs could bring that price down to around £15.
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In detail, which? has broken down which broadband providers offer the best deals for customers and shared alternative options offered by others.
The consumer watchdog explained: “Several broadband providers including BT, Hyperoptic, Virgin Media and most recently Now and Sky are offering them to customers who receive certain benefits.
“Vodafone also recently extended a social tariff plan on its Voxi mobile network to those receiving benefits, offering unlimited 5G data, calling and texting for up to £10 for up to six months
“Although TalkTalk does not offer a social tariff, TalkTalk is working with the Department for Works and Pensions to offer free fiber broadband for six months to certain job seekers.
“However, this is not available to all customers; Eligibility is determined by job center staff, so people on Universal Credit should check with their Jobcentre Plus work coach to determine if they are eligible.
“The typical standard broadband package costs £27 a month, but social plans are available for just £15 a month, meaning there’s a potential savings of £144.
“Social plans for fibre-optic broadband are also available for just £15 a month.”
Adam French, consumer rights expert at Which?, explained why finding the best deal for broadband customers is crucial in the current cost of living crisis.
Mr French added: “Despite the cost of living crisis, many suppliers have not hesitated to push through price increases above inflation, so customers are feeling the pressure.
“But there are steps you can take to minimize broadband and mobile bill costs. It’s worth poking around or haggling to get the best deal, especially if you don’t have a contract. Which? Research shows that haggling with your suppliers or switching offers can save you hundreds of pounds a year.”