Up until the end of October, broadband costs contained hidden charges in the form of line rental. Since October 31, however, your line rental fee should be displayed clearly so that you are aware of it from the start.
So, there are no hidden costs associated with broadband. BUT…there are costs involved in your broadband package that you should consider when taking out a new contract. While they may not be hidden, they are factors that people often forget about when seeking a new broadband package.
Try not to miss these fees when you are reading through the terms and conditions of your contract, as you may find that you are paying more than you thought you should be.
Broadband packages all involve some sort of one-time initial payment, which usually takes the form of the set-up fee. They are never hidden, but many people have forgotten about them by the time they start the ball rolling with their new contract.
There are several things that the broadband set-up fee could cover, including the cost of the router, the price of line installation (if required), connection fees, and even general administration charges.
At Broadband Compare UK, we believe transparency is key, and so we will always factor in the cost of setting up your broadband when finding quotes from broadband providers. Everything that you should pay will be displayed, and so you won’t be caught out. This means you can also compare a number of providers to locate the package that best suits your needs.
If you want to cancel your broadband, then you will usually be charged a fee for doing so. We covered the instances in which you may be able to cancel without a fee in our recent consumer rights article but, assuming you have no gripe with the provider, if you cancel you will normally be subjected to a charge.
Changing providers out of contract is free, and you won’t be charged. You can cancel your broadband at any time outside of the minimum terms without penalty. If you are still within the minimum terms, however, this is a completely different ball game.
In this instance, you will most likely be charged an amount equivalent to the total remaining minimum monthly payments on your contract. This can prove to be extremely costly – even just leaving a twelve-month contract six months into it can mean you are paying the remaining six months’ worth of payments, which is a real sting in the tail.
You may also have to send the equipment back to the provider and if you don’t you may also incur charges for replacements.
If you do have a legitimate reason to cancel, then contact OFCOM for assistance.
When you take out a contract, it is generally because you are getting some sort of great deal. More often than not this deal includes a very attractive discount for the first however many months. You may find, for example, your package is £25.99 for the first six months. But what happens when that six months is over?
This kind of package will normally state something along the lines of “£25.99 for the first six months, £30.99 thereafter.”
This isn’t a hidden charge, but a lot of people overlook it and then once the six months is up, they are left with their broadband bill in their hands and a shocked look on their faces.
The best practice here would be to write the price change date in your diary, or set a reminder on your phone for a month, and then a week, beforehand. That way you can prepare financially for the cost increase, and won’t be alarmed when the cost of your bill rises.
Some broadband packages have a set limit to which you can download data. Always keep a check on your current usage, or you will be charged for exceeding it.