Save, make, understand money

Household Bills

Thousands of broadband deals expire this month: Act now

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

If you took advantage of broadband sales in January 2021, your deal is about to expire. Act now to avoid falling onto a pricey default tariff, a comparison site warns.

Broadband customers with BT, Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media are most likely to see their contracts end this month, meaning they face slipping back onto a default tariff.

This is because thousands of people snapped up 18-month broadband deals in January 2021 when Brits were yet again in lockdown and therefore re-assessing their internet needs.

As many as 7.4 million people in the UK are out of their contract and according to price comparison site Uswitch, taking out a new contract deal could save households £162 a year on average.

It said with the surge of people coming up to the end of their current deal, broadband providers “will be pulling out all the stops to retain them” and encourage customers to switch suppliers.

Uswitch added that customers of BT, Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media should look out for end-of contract notifications (ECN) which will show the date their current contract expires, the price they will pay once the tariff comes to an end and the best alternative deals it can offer.

‘Re-evaluate your options’

Nick Baker, telecoms expert at Uswitch.com, said: “It’s easy to forget about contracts in the summer when the heat, holidays and barbecues are more distracting. But when every penny matters, it’s important to stay alert to how much you are paying for your broadband and when your contract term is due to end.

“The end of a contract is a good time to re-evaluate your options, especially if you’ve been with the same provider for a long time. It’s worth considering if the speeds and service offered are still meeting your needs.

“If your deal ends soon, you should have received an ECN from your provider. This should be a spur to consider your options – doing nothing will mean you end up overpaying.

“There is plenty of competition among broadband providers and, if you want to up your internet speed, full fibre services offering more consistent connectivity and superfast downloads are available at competitive prices.”

Top tips to get a competitive broadband deal

Uswitch lists these top tips to help you cut your broadband bill:

Shop around: Use a comparison site such as Uswitch.com to see which alternative broadband packages are available.

Check your budget: Before signing up to a new contract, consider what you’re willing to pay every month. Most broadband contracts last for 18 or 24 months, so plan ahead to ensure you can afford your chosen package for the term.

Get up to speed: Superfast fibre broadband is now available to over 95% of the UK and if you’re on an old copper wire connection, you could probably get speeds at least three times as fast as your current deal for around the same price or even cheaper.

Assess your bundle: You may have services bundled with your existing package that you no longer need or could strip back with a new contract, such as pay-TV services. Most online streaming services have rolling monthly contracts so you could get greater flexibility with your viewing, while your mobile could replace the need to pay extra for landline calls.

Timing is everything: You usually have to give a month’s notice to your current provider to cancel your deal, even when you’re out of contract. As some companies can take up to six weeks to install a new service, the best bet is to call them up and see when you can be connected to make sure the process goes smoothly and you don’t overpay.