Many people face price rises of up to 11% in their mobile and broadband bills from the start of April.
It comes during a cost of living crisis that has seen prices for goods and services skyrocket, and many people are now looking for ways to reduce their monthly outgoings to save money.
To help ease the price sting this April, Uswitch.com is offering advice on how you can keep your broadband and mobile bills as low as you can. See our ten tips below.
Before signing up to a new contract, be realistic about the price you’re willing to pay every month.
Most broadband and mobile contracts last for 12, 18 or 24 months, with some being available on a monthly rolling basis too. So make sure you budget wisely to ensure you can afford the desired package for the entire term.
Your provider should let you know when you're nearing the end of your contract term, but it's a good idea to put it in the calendar so you can weigh up your options to switch ahead of time.
When your phone is not connected to Wi-Fi, some activities, like streaming a video call or watching Netflix, can be a big drain on your data allowance and you may end up having to buy extra from your provider.
Look at ways to get more from your allowance, such as downloading services over Wi-Fi so you can use apps offline. You may find if you are working from home more regularly that you’re paying for more data than you use, so be sure to pick a package that suits your needs.
Before opting for a pay-monthly mobile contract, consider the SIM-only deals available. If you’re happy to keep your existing handset, pairing it with a SIM-only offer could reduce your bill dramatically.
Many SIM-only deals have no contract attached, giving you the flexibility to hang onto your phone for as long as you like and wait for the right time to upgrade.
Don’t overestimate the broadband download speed you need, as you could end up overpaying for a package that doesn’t suit your current usage. Run a broadband speed test to see how fast your current connection is.
If you’re happy with the performance, then consider whether a faster, and potentially more expensive deal, is worth it.
Before jumping into a broadband deal, assess how long you want to lock into the contract for. Two years is a long time, so be confident that you’ll see out the package until the end of the term.
For example, if you plan to move house in a year or 18 months, consider a package that fits with your schedule. You could even explore the option of a monthly rolling contract if you only need to stay connected for a shorter period, as exiting a longer contract early can be costly.
If you claim Universal Credit or other government benefits, you may be entitled to seek additional support from your internet provider.
Get in touch with your provider to see if they offer a broadband social tariff and whether you fit the criteria, which could save up to £144 off your annual broadband bill.
Some broadband and mobile packages come with additional benefits such as gift cards or vouchers, so if you’re an avid shopper then these could be a great perk.
Be mindful that you don’t get swayed into a contract solely based on added extras though, as you need to ensure the overall price, speed and length of contract is suitable for you.
Go through the different TV channels you watch, as well as any streaming platform you are subscribed to. You might be able to downgrade your TV package without losing any of your favourites or cancel a streaming service you rarely use.
If you don’t want a subscription, NOW offers monthly passes for its entertainment and sports packages, letting you watch Premier League football or films for as little as £9.99 a month, which you can cancel at any time.
If you’re in the market for a mobile handset, choosing a refurbished phone, which will have had a previous owner but passed the same quality checks as a new device, can be an easy money-saver.
The chances are only you will know the difference. See the Uswitch guide to refurbished phones.
Use a comparison site like Uswitch to see a wide range of deals from across the market, based on your requirements. There are often exclusive deals to be had through comparison sites too, so keep an eye out for limited time offers.
Find out each of the broadband and mobile providers that incur price rises each year, as well as the ones that don't
Catherine Hiley, telecoms expert at Uswitch.com, comments: “With mobile and broadband consumers set to be hit with hikes in April, it’s well worth exploring ways you can claw back some of the money.
“Compare your own mobile, broadband and TV packages with current market alternatives to see if you’re getting what you really need. Look to trim off any extras that you don’t use, whether that’s reducing your broadband speed or ditching unwatched channels from your TV deal.
“Consider whether you really need to upgrade your handset when taking out a fresh mobile deal and — if you do — remember opting for a reconditioned phone is likely to be hundreds of pounds cheaper than a brand-new model. Taking out a SIM-only contract instead of a pay-monthly offer can also add to the savings.
“If you find yourself in financial difficulties, be sure to let your provider know, as you might be eligible for a special social tariff that can help lower your bills.”