Martin Lewis details cheap broadband deals for jobseekers
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This comes as some of the country’s biggest broadband companies are set to hike their prices up even further despite the increase to the cost of living. BT, EE, TalkTalk, Vodafone, Plusnet and John Lewis Broadband are reportedly set to hike their prices by between 8.2 percent and 9.3 percent. This is despite whole broadband costs remaining stagnant over the last two decades, according to experts at broadband provider Cuckoo.
On top of this, many households are being tapped into broadband deals due to extortionate exit fees which leave them unable to act and improve their finances.
Alex Fitzgerald, the CEO of Cuckoo, believes there is no reason for broadband providers to be pricing consumers so much when living costs are soaring to record levels.
Mr Fitzgerald said: “Millions of people in the UK are facing the worst cost of living crisis for decades.
“Broadband providers must do the decent thing – scrap the exit fees and axe above-inflation increases.
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“Most broadband customers are tied into long contracts. Many won’t have read the small print properly and won’t realise they face an annual increase tied to the Consumer Prices Index with another four percent whacked on top.
“Then when they do realise and try to leave for a better deal, they run into the brick wall of exit fees.
“These can be hundreds of pounds. Broadband firms use opaque methods to calculate the fees – meaning customers aren’t sure of how much they could have to fork out.”
He added: “It’s the rises combined with the exit fees trap that is so unfair. It’s going to hurt the poorest the worst but others will be affected.
“It will hurt those who are just about managing and it will hurt those on middle incomes.”
Taking aim at broadband providers directly, Mr Fitzgerald claimed regulation rules in the UK mean that broadband prices should not rise to the level they are going up by.
The broadband expert explained: “Energy bills have understandably been the focus of attention as they are going up by more than half.
“But there are causes for the rises in the energy sector – wholesale energy prices have spiked.
“There is no excuse in the broadband sector for such steep price rises and restrictive contracts – the wholesale price hasn’t changed in 20 years.”
Despite this, people who claim certain benefits like Universal Credit are able to get discounts off their broadband bill.
Broadband ‘social tariffs’ are currently available to 4.2 million households across the UK who are in receipt of Universal Credit.
This particular discount could save Britons £144 on their broadband bill if they get the payment from the DWP.
However, Ofgem reports that only 1.2 percent of these households who are eligible are claiming this vital means of support.
Due to this, the media regulator is urging broadband providers to do more to promote their social tariff offerings to their customers.
Universal Credit claimants who meet the eligibility criteria for their broadband providers discount should contact them directly for more information.
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