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Ever heard of a social tariff?

We could save more than £180 a year on phone and broadband with a social tariff

If we’re on Universal Credit or certain other benefits we could save on our broadband or phone services with a social tariff.

At a time when we’re all worrying about bills, moving on to a social tariff if we can could save us more than £180 a year.

 (Some broadband deals could be about to rise by £95 a year).

The government has been working with service providers to offer deals of between £10 and £20 a month to those who qualify.

It sounds a bit too good to be true. But the only catch with social tariffs is that not enough of us are on them.  Government figures last summer showed that only about one in 100 eligible households were benefiting from one.

So why is this? There are a few reasons…

Some of us might assume that such a big cash saving means we’ll end up with a much worse service. Wrong! Many social tariffs for broadband run at superfast speeds (30Mbps to 100Mbps) – that should be more than enough for streaming or video calling. In some parts of the country, we could even get ultrafast broadband.

We might worry that we’re not eligible, or it’ll be hard to prove that we are. But since last year, providers can check with the DWP that we qualify (if we consent).

If we’re already signed up to a contract for 12 or 24 months, we may worry we’ll be hit with big fees for changing early. While this may be the case, most providers won’t charge us for moving to a social tariff – if we stay with them. If our existing provider doesn’t offer a social tariff then sadly we may be hit with a penalty. But they should decide on a case-by-case basis, so it’s certainly worth asking if they’ll waive any fee.

Another problem with social tariffs is that lots of us aren’t even aware they exist. But we can find out more, and compare prices, on the Ofcom website.

Image: Anna Nekrashevich / Pexels

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