Ten million British households could be saving £19.50 a month if they took advantage of social tariffs for broadband. Yet new figures show that two thirds (65 percent) of low income households don’t know that reduced broadband bills are available to people on benefits.
As inflation hits its highest levels in a decade, comparison website Uswitch is urging customers who are struggling to pay their bills to check whether they are eligible for broadband social tariffs.
Social tariffs are means-tested offers for broadband customers who receive government benefits including Universal Credit, Pension Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support.
Some 16 million people are estimated to be eligible, but as little as one in six (15 percent) apply for them.
This means ten million financially vulnerable households have not signed up to a social tariff that they might be eligible for, yet it could save them up to £234 a year on their broadband bills.
Ernest Doku, broadband expert at Uswitch.com, said: “At a time when the cost of living is soaring for many households, more need to be aware of the deals that might be available to those customers who struggle the most.
“With almost three quarters of people having never heard of social tariffs, it’s not surprising that take-up isn’t as high as it could be.
“Social tariffs are an important way for financially vulnerable households to get a decent service at a lower cost, and providers like BT, Virgin Media, Community Fibre, Hyperoptic and others are doing their bit to help out.
“If you’re claiming one or more government benefits in your household, you could be entitled to switch to these tariffs, which could reduce your broadband bills by £234 a year on average.”
The new initiative was launched in September thanks to a collaboration with TalkTalk and the DWP.
TalkTalk provides referral codes to the DWP and these codes are then passed onto eligible customers so they can use them to pre-pay the service from the fund.
The customers then call TalkTalk directly using a dedicated number to redeem and get set up.
To claim, people will need to speak to their work coach and ask about the Flexible Support Fund.