Over the last 12 months we have been asked for our advice from consumers on whether
“Is it a good idea to pay up front for 1 or 2 years on our broadband service?”
Now we don’t offer consumer or domestic broadband, we only offer business broadband but we are always happy to help and advise where we can.
Our answer though to everyone who has asked has always been the same – it depends!
It depends on various factors that we would recommend you to consider:
What do you want from your broadband package?
If you are more concerned with saving a few pounds than changes in technology, and the idea of a supersaver package appeals then yes paying up front for your broadband could be a good idea. Just remember that broadband technology and speeds are changing on a regular basis. What you are committing to now could be an out of date technology by the time you are half way through your agreement. Ask your proposed new provider what options you have to upgrade during the term and what the costs would be? Also ask your provider what happens if you move address during the term.
Do you make many landline calls?
Some of the bundled up front line and broadband packages charge really high call charges. We have been passed call rates of one provider and the charges are 11.5p a min for calls to 01 and 02 numbers with a 17p connection fee (to act as a comparison our standard rates are 0.5p for calls to landlines with no connection fee).
What if your broadband provider closes?
We would strongly recommend if you are going to pay up front you check what reassurances your provider can give you if they were to close down. If a new provider takes their customers over they don’t necessarily have to continue offering you the service, you have paid for.
What if the broadband actually isn’t very good?
So, you have paid up front for your broadband and a few weeks in your broadband has dropped repeatedly, the technical support hasn’t been great. No one is helping you. What happens? Again, we recommend check the terms before paying up front. Ensure you have the ability to get a pro rata refund if the service and speed isn’t what you signed up for. OFCOM have recently released new regulation regards advertised broadband speeds and minimum guaranteed speeds. Make sure you proposed new provider has joined the code of practice committing to providing a tailored speed estimate before sign up. Top Tip: search your chosen providers name on social media, Facebook, Twitter (search without the @ as then it will bring up other peoples comments too) or look on ratings sites like Trustpilot or on Google, this will bring up any conversations people have had with them on social media, including issues with service, customer feedback etc
What if my terms change mid contract? ***updated March 2018***
Even though you have paid up front for 18 or 24 months you are still protected for any changes to your contract, whether they be written terms or implied terms. This would entitle you to be able to leave your contract early and maybe by entitled to a partial refund of what has been paid up front. Speak to the team at OFCOM for advice but such implied terms as 24/7 support changing to support Mon – Fri 8.30 to 8.30 could be implied term if your decision for choosing that supplier was the 24/7 support.
Should you have further questions regards our advice then please don’t hesitate to contact our support team on firstname.lastname@example.org or via 01302 260195 or alternatively contact OFCOM who can also give impartial advice on 0300 123 3333 #katcares #morethanjusttalk