Over 50% of the UK’s low-income households are unaware of cheap broadband deals according to regulator Ofcom’s new report.
Ofcom is worried people aren’t getting the correct advice when switching to a social tariff.
Social Tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for those who claim Universal Credit, Pension Credit, and other benefits.
Ofcom has said that millions of families could save around £200 each year by switching to a social Tariff.
There has been an increase in switches to social tariffs since January 2022.
The number of switches has quadrupled yet there are millions still missing out.
Ofcom believes this is due to a lack of awareness of these deals.
Providers like BT, EE, NOW, Sky, Virgin Media, G Network, SMARTY, Community Fibre, KCOM, Hyperoptic, and VOXI all have options for this.
The regulator is urging other providers such as, TalkTalk and O2 to introduce social tariffs.
Over 4 million households in the UK could be getting broadband cheaper, however, only around 220,000 or 5% of households are signed up for social tariff offers.
Social tariffs are normally on shorter-term contracts and there are no early exit fees.
This means you won’t be tied to your contract if something changes, you won’t have a penalty fee when leaving.
Ofcom has an affordability tracker on their website, which has shown that one in 3 households in the UK had issues paying for their broadband or phone packages.
The regulator believes more needs to be done to encourage those eligible to investigate and sign up for social tariffs.
There have been concerns that broadband providers aren’t being upfront with customers about signing up for the cheaper packages.
9% of those eligible were made aware of social tariffs via their provider, most heard about them through social media or TV.
Ofcom has said the industry must do more to promote their social tariffs as they need to be easier to find.
The Director of Ofcom’s network and communication, Lindsey Fussell, believes that providers need to do more stating “at a time when these savings could make a massive difference”.
“We’re urging anyone who thinks they could be eligible for a discount deal to contact their provider today and potentially save hundreds of pounds”
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