UNIVERSAL Credit claimant Rose Mulvey is one of millions of people who can slash their broadband bill and save hundreds of pounds.
Like millions of people across the UK, Rose is eligible for a so-called social broadband tariff.
But most people don’t realise these deals are available – it’s estimated that just 55,000 of the 4.2million people who qualify are making use of the saving.
Sun Money is calling on the Government, regulator Ofcom and suppliers to do more to support struggling customers and make it easier for customers to switch to a social tariff.
The Sun is calling on more firms to offer deals — and to make them available to customers online.
Rosa, 31, from Exeter, used to be a doctor at her local hospital but had to quit her job and go on to Crédito universal after being diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome.
She needs the internet to keep in touch with family and pals when she is unable to leave the house.
But she couldn’t believe it when The Sun told her she qualifies for the cheaper deal on her broadband because she claims the benefit.
Rose said: “I had literally no idea the deal exists – I didn’t even know what ‘social tariff’ means.”
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She pays £23.99 a month for her service with Shell Energy Broadband.
Her provider is one which doesn’t offer social tariffs but if she switched to BT’s social tariff, she could cut her bill to £15 a month – saving £108 a year.
“It’s a massive amount," ella dijo. “I have lots of extra expenses.
“I have carers at home, and if I leave my house in my wheelchair I need to pay for a taxi. The extra money could really help me.”
She said providers need to publicise the deals so that people like her are not missing out.
Ella dijo: “I don’t think it would be that hard for companies to advertise it more – maybe an advert on the TV or through working with councils.”
How to find a social tariff?
How you apply for a social tariff will vary depending on the provider.
The deals on offer will vary too including the price and speeds available. With some providers you’ll need to be an existing customer to qualify.
TalkTalk offers six months broadband for free for those on jobseeker’s allowance.
BT and Virgin Media have social tariffs for just £15 a month – the latter’s has a 30-day rolling contract, so you’re not tied in.
Now Broadband also has a rolling contract – it charges £20 a month.
Sky charges £20 a month – the deal is for 18 meses, so you may need to pay an exit fee to get out early.
Before you sign up for any of the social tariff, check whether you could get a better deal elsewhere by using a comparison website such as Moneysupermarket.com or Uswitch.
There’s also an easy tool to help you see what you could save using a social tariff – The Sun has worked with cost-of-living champion Nous to create a way for households to easily check if they qualify.
Visit nous.co/thesun to find out whether you qualify for cheaper broadband in just two minutes.
Do I qualify for a social tariff?
Some firms don’t make it easy to find the deals on their websites, and who can get them.
In most cases you’ll need to supply proof of what benefits you are on.
Most of the providers offering social tariffs require you to be on one of the following:
- Crédito universal
- Employment and support allowance
- The “guarantee credit” element of pension credit
- Income support
- Jobseeker’s allowance
You’ll need to share some basic information about your households and give permission for your bank to share details of your broadband spending and whether you receive benefits.
Another benefit of a social tariff is that providers have promised they will not raise prices mid-contract, giving you certainty over your bills.
Read here to learn about single mum Gina Hackett and what she was able to save using the little-known social tariff.