Broadband discount worth £144 could ‘make real difference’ to Universal Credit claimants

Martin Lewis explains how to cut costs on broadband bundles

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Recipients of Universal Credit, and other payments, could be entitled to “social tariffs” through their broadband provider. Some of the country’s largest broadband companies, including BT and Virgin Media, offer these deals to those who are eligible which could see households save £144 annually. Despite this, only 55,000 homes have taken advantage of social tariffs so far, according to country’s media regulator Ofcom.

Speaking exclusively to, Lisa Barber from Which? discussed the various discounts on offer to households who are looking to cut their internet bill.

Specifically, the Computer editor highlighted how vital social tariffs are to reducing how much benefit claimants spend on broadband.

Ms Barber said: “Social tariffs can make a real difference, but low levels of awareness and take-up are a reflection of how poorly broadband providers publicise these deals.

“However, millions of households affected by the rising cost of living could save £144 on annual broadband bills through social tariffs, according to Ofcom.

“It’s really important that anyone struggling to make ends meet finds out if they are eligible.”

However, she noted how many customers are complaining about their broadband either cutting off or suffering from low speed.

In a survey carried out by Which?, one in two (49 percent) broadband customers had a problem in the last 12 months.

This comes as inflation has hiked up broadband prices due to inflation, putting more pressure on households during the cost of living crisis.

The consumer watchdog’s report found that regular signal drop-out was the most common issue for customers.

Overall, this impacted one in six broadband customers, making up 17 percent of Which?’s survey.

After this, the next most common problem reported to the watchdog was very slow speeds, which detrimentally affected 15 percent of those who were polled.

According to Which?, Sky and Virgin Media customers were more likely to report this issue where it was reported by one in five (both 18 percent).

With the cost of living on the rise, Ms Barber said broadband providers need to give their customers a better service or risk losing their business.

The expert added: “It is simply not good enough that broadband customers are still suffering frequent drop outs, slow speeds and a generally poor internet service at a time when everyday life relies so heavily on a good connection.

“To add insult to injury, despite the cost of living crisis many providers have not hesitated to impose above-inflation price hikes.

“If you’re currently out of contract and your provider is not giving you a good service or you don’t want your bills to go up, shop around and consider switching.”

Broadband provider – Cost – Who can apply

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