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Getting organised really pays – reducing phone and broadband costs

I’m always looking for ways of reducing phone and broadband costs, although it’s often at the bottom of my to do list.

Living where we do, we’re limited by what providers we can use for our broadband.  We’re also on really slow speeds (think back to dial up speeds, and you’re not far off that!).  It winds me up that companies always send us through offers saying we can have cheap broadband at high speeds, but we know we really can’t.  They often don’t believe us until they do a speed check, then realise that they won’t offer us anything.

So BT it is.  We do have a nearby business park that set up its own high speed (relatively) network, but that would mean paying higher prices and also me losing my email address I’ve had for years.  I’m not sure I’m ready to lose that yet.

The OH does moan about the speeds, and we do have issues when the weather changes, but overall it’s live with it and do the best you can.  I do get annoyed when I’m paying for 10mb speeds, and am lucky to get over a 10th of that.

But I’ve been getting close to the limit I have each month, and now the OH has a smartphone I wanted to have unlimited.

I checked out the website for upgrades, got annoyed because I’d lose out on my free evening calls for more cost, so tweeted to ask what other packages there were.  I’m a big believer in twitter if you want to get a response from companies.  They called the next day after I’d left my details, and it just goes to show you should always call as ask what there is.  One of the offers came up as £6 less than I pay now for the unlimited broadband I wanted with my same phone offer.  Brilliant result.

I pay the line rental up front for the year as I hate the way the prices keep creeping up – however there is a downside to this.  It turns out that BT don’t (they say can’t) send a reminder to tell you that your year is up and that if you don’t renew, they’ll transfer you to the more expensive monthly standard tariff.  I was gobsmacked – they can manage to send me rubbish sales emails of things I don’t want or need, but can’t manage to add a note to the bill notice.  Ridiculous.  Although I shouldn’t be surprised seeing as they’re still sending me junk sales post to my maiden name at our address…I’ve been married for 9 years and have been with BT for line rental since moving in, and broadband since before being married.  So, if you’re with BT and pay for annual line rental, make a note in your diary when to renew.

Luckily, when I griped about this, they did credit my account to pay back the for the month I’d been on the standard tariff.

Then I decided I had to sort out my mobile phone.  I’d always been way under my minutes (and already have what I’d consider a good SIM-only tariff), but last month I had a bit of a shock (almost daily phone calls to my mum’ll do that!) having forgotten what 300 minutes a month is on a daily basis.  Oops.

Again, I’d tried online, but once I got to checkout I was being refused because they had my name hyphenated.  That’s correct but bizarre they ever had my full first name!  I couldn’t change it, so off into store the next day.

I do love my local Vodafone store.  All  the staff are helpful, know what they’re talking about, and always show empathy (as usually I’m in to try and sort out a problem) as they try to solve the issue.  They quickly amended my name, found the tariff I was after, and it was all changed.  So that’s another lot off my bill each month…for additional!

So after a bit of research online, a phone call and a trip to store, and I’m already about £8 better off each month with more usage to my name.  Doesn’t sound a lot, but added up over the year, it’s not bad.  If you can replicate that against other bills, the savings can tot up well.

Have you had any good results on swapping tariffs?

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