Martin Lewis tip sees pensioner, 91, slash broadband by £420 after ‘quick check’ | Personal Finance | Finance

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A savvy saver has shared how one of Martin Lewis’ tips helped his gran save on her broadband. With this “quick check,” Andrew’s gran was able to save £420 a year.

His email, published in MoneySavingExpert’s (MSE) Money Tips newsletter this week, said: “After Martin mentioned social tariffs for people on pension credit, I did a quick check with my 91-year-old gran’s provider to see if she was eligible.

“I phoned them up and sorted it, and she has gone from paying £55 per month to £20 per month – a saving of £420 a year. Happy days.”

The money saving expert and his team explained that standard broadband deals can often be cheaper in the short term – especially if someone wants fast speeds.

By switching regularly, customers will usually be able to get faster fibre for the cheapest standard deals.

These can often undercut social tariffs as they usually include switch promo vouchers or bill credit.

However, they noted that social tariffs give consistency and simplicity, so they can be a winner if someone wants to stay with the same firm. Many providers offer social tariffs with discounted broadband and mobile deals for people on benefits such as Universal Credit and Pension Credit.

Low-income families may be able to sign up for discounted broadband which could save households as much as £180 a year compared to industry average tariffs.

READ MORE: 8 freebies and discounts you may get in April if you claim PIP – full list of reductions

Introduced last summer, the UK Government scheme lets internet service providers – with claimants’ permission – ask the DWP to automatically verify their customers’ benefit entitlement.

This means people do not need to actively prove they claim benefits while on a tariff.

There are a number of social tariffs on offer from leading providers in the UK.

Sky, BT and Virgin Media O2 provide those receiving Universal Credit, Pension Credit and other means-tested benefits, with monthly broadband packages available from between £12.50 and £20.

Vodafone offers customers 38Mb fibre and line for £12 a month. MSE rated this the cheapest fibre broadband.

The change was made possible after Virgin Media O2 made the move to fully integrate the Department for Work and Pensions’ social tariff-checking tool.

Alongside Universal Credit, the full list of benefits that qualify for the support includes people in the UK receiving Income-based Employment Support Allowance (I-ESA), Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (I-JSA), Income Support (IS), Pension Credit (PC).

Commenting on the incentive, Abigail Wood, CEO at Age UK London, said: “We know from our own research that 20 percent of people in London over the age of 65 do not use the internet as much as they would like because they don’t have access to broadband or suitable equipment.

“Age UK London has been calling for internet providers to ensure that older consumers aren’t excluded from accessing the cheapest broadband deals, so today’s announcement is a really positive step forward.”

In the MSE newsletter, they shared five quick broadband switching need-to-knows before people change their provider:

“Don’t want to switch? Haggle.
“Slow broadband? Test your speed. Do a broadband speed check and try our eight speed boosters.

“At least 50 percent of customers must get the advertised speeds at peak times. All providers above also tell you the estimated max speed you’re likely to get before you sign up.

“Switching usually only means about two hours of downtime. You’re told the switch time in advance and most won’t need an engineer to visit. If switching to or from Virgin, it’s more likely.

“Members of cashback sites can sometimes undercut deals.”

Martin Lewis is the Founder and Chair of MoneySavingExpert.com. To join the 13 million people who get his free Money Tips weekly email, go to www.moneysavingexpert.com/latesttip.

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