Struggling broadband customers will be able to move to cheaper deals without paying a penalty | The Sun

STRUGGLING broadband and mobile customers will be able to move to cheaper deals without paying huge penalties, under new plans.

At present, customers may have to pay a fee if they want to move to a cheaper tariff – and this can sometimes cost hundreds of pounds. 

Telecoms bosses from firms including BT, Sky, Virgin Media O2, TalkTalk and Vodafone today committed to new measures to help keep customers connected as the cost of living crisis hits households.

They promised to support struggling customers with payment plans and raise awareness of cheaper social tariffs offered to those on Universal Credit. 

Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “Families across the country face increased anxiety about keeping up with bills, so today I agreed with broadband and mobile industry bosses what more can be done to support people during this difficult time.

“Those who need support should contact their supplier to see what is available.”

Dame Clare Moriarty, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: "We still see too many examples of sharp practice like overcharging loyal customers, inflation busting mid-contract price rises and a shockingly low take up of social tariffs. So this is by no means job done.”

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Could you cut your broadband costs?

If you're out of your contract term then you can compare deals and switch.

If you're happy with your supplier then you should try to haggled down your bill.

Telecoms firms offer cheaper social tariffs to customers on low incomes and benefits.

For not eligible for the social tariffs, we explain a simple check that could save £200 a year on your internet bills.

Plus, here's how you can switch broadband mid-contract with no fees as providers.

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If you're struggling, then call your supplier and ask for help. Under this agreement they must waive the fee for moving you to a cheaper tariff, if you're financially struggling.

Personal finance expert Sarah Coles from Hargreaves Lansdown said: “Broadband is increasingly vital to every aspect of our lives, so it’s incredibly stressful if you find yourself struggling to pay your bills and facing the threat of losing your connection. 

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“It’s tempting to put your head in the sand and ignore it, but if you miss payments it will only make things worse.

“These new commitments should make it easier to tackle the problem head-on and find a solution you can live with. 

“Call your provider, explain you’re facing difficulties, and ask how they can help.

"They’ve promised to work with anyone who’s struggling, so they may be able to move you to a cheaper package without a charge, or set up a payment plan you can afford, so you can stay connected.”

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