Moving home? Whether you should start bundling your broadband with TV and phone at your next pad is something to put in the pot of considerations.
Most of us now consider broadband an essential utility. Like gas and electricity, it’s something we rely on every day, whether that’s for entertainment or online banking and shopping.
Moving home is the perfect opportunity to review your broadband and see where you can save money – and one of the simplest options can involve bundling.
What is a bundle?
A bundle is an arrangement where you get your broadband, TV and home telephone from the same provider, and it usually works out cheaper than if you were to buy them separately.
If you are currently signed up to broadband-only contract, it’s worth looking into a bundled package or combination deal.
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Combining broadband and phone into a bundle
Given that with most broadband providers, you’ll need to pay for a landline phone connection so you can receive your internet service, a bundle can make good sense.
In fact, you should be able to make some decent savings by opting for a good-value bundled package consisting of a landline and broadband from one provider.
Adding TV to your broadband and phone bundle
Equally, if you have a subscription to a TV service – or plan to subscribe to one of these services in your new home – you should look into including this in the bundle as well.
Providers offering bundled broadband, TV and phone deals include BT, Sky, Virgin Media, EE Broadband, PlusNet and TalkTalk.
Generally speaking, a bundled or combination deal will save you money compared to subscribing separately – though this will, of course, depend on the channels you want.
Do your research
Before signing up to a bundle, you need to do your research to find the right deal for your needs.
You can check what’s available at uSwitch.com.
While price may be an important factor, don’t make your decision on price alone. You also need to consider other factors, such as reliability, customer service and technical support.
5 don’ts when considering a bundle
1. DON'T pay for things you don’t need
While a bundle can make good sense in terms of money saved, you need to ensure you don’t end up paying for services you don’t use, such as costly movie and sports channels, or broadband far beyond your needs.
Only pay for a bells-and-whistles TV package if you are definitely going to watch all the channels, and only pay for the speed of broadband you actually require.
2. DON'T overlook the cancellation fee
Be aware that broadband providers usually require you to enter a contract lasting for 12 months (and sometimes longer). If you want to leave before this has expired, you may have to pay a cancellation penalty or exit fee.
Do your sums to work out whether you are better off waiting until your contract is up. If you decide it makes sense to wait, make a note of the end date in your diary so you are ready to switch when the time comes.
3. DON'T forget that introductory deals end
Many suppliers will offer cheap introductory deals and other attractive incentives to new customers. But bear in mind that introductory deals will end at some point – at which stage costs could increase. Remember to note this date in your diary, too.
4. DON'T underestimate the power of haggling
Before switching to a new broadband provider for a bundled deal, talk to your current provider, and tell them you’re thinking of moving. Your current provider may come up with a cheaper deal to get you to stay.
5. DON'T assume a bundle is always the best option
For some consumers, bundling services together won’t make financial sense. If, for example, if you make lots of calls from your landline – including a high volume of calls to countries where calls are costly – you may be better off with a separate landline provider which offers competitive call charges.
The key is to look carefully at your broadband, phone and TV usage and to check whether, for you, it may be cheaper to buy separately – rather than as a bundle.
Should you consider a bundle that includes your mobile as well?
Broadband providers are increasingly offering to bundle not only broadband, landline and TV into one contract – but also mobile bills as well.
But while these so-called “quad play” deals may come with enticing sweeteners, such as free calls and texts, money off bills and free sports channels, you need to do your sums to work out whether purchasing all four services from one provider will actually save you money.
The best deal for you will depend on all sorts of things, including internet speeds, mobile network coverage – and, of course, your budget.