Do you have separate broadband and phone providers? Then you may be paying more than you need to.
Switching to a combined phone and broadband contract can not only save you money. It can also make life less complicated, as you’ll just get the one bill for both. But getting your head around the various packages out there can be confusing.
Our guide can help. We’ll explore what you need to consider when choosing a broadband and phone bundle, and how to switch providers. And here’s the good news: it’s easier than you might think!
Which providers offer phone and broadband packages?
According to Ofcom, the main UK broadband and phone providers offering combined home bundles are: BT, EE, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, Vodafone and O2.
There are other players too, so it’s worth carefully comparing before selecting one.
As for the best deals, it all depends on what you want – for example, what broadband speed, how much internet data, and how you typically use your landline.
Let’s look at all this in more detail.
What should I think about when choosing my broadband?
The two main things to consider when choosing broadband are: the speed you need, and the data you use.
Firstly, speed. If you only use the Internet to check emails and browse the web, then the chances are that speed won’t be a priority for you. However, if you like online gaming, tend to stream movies, or have several devices on your network, faster broadband could be worth investing in.
There are broadband speedchecker tools online, which you can use to determine the speed of your connection. And to make things simpler, comparethemarket.com places broadband offers into three categories: superfast (up to 60 Mbit/s), fast (30-60 Mbit/s) and basic (less than 30 Mbit/s).
Be aware that superfast broadband isn’t available everywhere in the UK yet, so we’ll only show you the deals available in your area.
As for data usage, this refers to the amount of information you download and upload. For example, if you download a lot of music or movies, you’ll use more data than if you only use the internet to, say, shop online.
Most providers offer unlimited broadband packages, meaning you can use as much data as you like – but you guessed it, these tend to be more expensive than deals with data limits.
What do I need to think about when choosing my phone service?
Though you can get broadband only contracts, many broadband deals come with phone contracts bundled in.
The cost of these should generally be lower than having two standalone packages, as you’re buying two services from the same provider. Plus, suppliers often use telephone bundles to tempt new customers, so they tend to price them attractively.
The right deal for you will depend on exactly what calls are included in each package, and how you tend to use your landline. Common offers include unlimited daytime, weekend and/or evening calls, pay-as-you-talk contracts, free minutes to numbers on the same network, and competitive rates for local, national and/or international calls.
Most deals will also charge an amount per month for line rental, and there may also be a connection charge, so you’ll need to factor these things in when comparing.
How do I switch providers?
Some people rarely switch phone and broadband provider – even if a combined deal could save them money – as they think it will prove too much stress and hassle.
Yet according to Which?, 81% of people who switched said the process was easy, while many also ended up with cheaper packages and faster internet speeds. And it’s worth bearing in mind that Ofcom recently introduced new rules to make the process easier.
Here’s what you need to do if you decide to switch:
Check your contract.
Before you do anything else, check your current contract. Most packages come with a minimum term, and a hefty cancellation fee if you choose to get out earlier. Has your tie-in period passed? If so, then you’re good to go.
Find a new deal.
Use comparethemarket.com to compare broadband and phone contracts. Found the right one for you? Great. Now make a note of the details, including contract length, monthly costs, additional fees (such as line rental and connection charges) and any other important information you may need.
Contact your new provider.
Once you’ve chosen a deal, simply contact the company in question, and tell them you’d like to switch. They should automatically switch you over. You may also need to contact your existing provider before the switch can start. Your new provider will tell you if so, and it should just mean a quick phone call. Once completed, you’ll get letters from both firms confirming the switch. Job done!
Can I really save money with bundled phone and broadband offers?
Quite possibly. Providers use the best deals to entice new customers, and if you’re currently paying separately for your broadband and phone, you could well save yourself a bit of cash by switching.
Use comparethemarket.com to help find some of the best combined deals in your area. Simply click the button, enter your postcode and we’ll do the hard work for you.
Find out which broadband and phone deals you could get today with comparethemarket.com.