It never rains, but it pours. Over the last few weeks most of the major energy companies have announced price rises, popular fixed-rate tariffs are coming to an end and, according to a survey by Which?, broadband providers are failing on service, speed and reliability.
But there is no reason you should suffer in silence and accept higher prices, bad service and unreliable internet connections.
Switch and compare
Don’t just stick with your current supplier. Switch regularly to get the best deals and make sure you shop around using comparison sites.
The best deals are often only available to new customers, but normally only last for the first year, so make sure you know when your current deal comes to an end.
It’s so easy when a contract is coming to an end to ignore it, say you’re too busy and let your contract auto-renew.
But this is normally the quickest way to end up on a bad deal. This is because you will be moved onto a standard tariff, which is not the cheapest option.
Don’t want the hassle of moving to another supplier? Then haggle with your current one.
Been a loyal customer? Let them know and you might get a discounted rate.
Thinking about leaving? Tell them your intentions and you could end up being offered a better deal.
Suffered from bad customer service? Explain why you think this entitles you to a discount.
You might be amazed at how much you can save just by asking.
Pay for what you need
When it comes to broadband, particularly with the large providers, there are normally lots of add-ons like landline phone or TV packages. These might look great and be cheaper than getting them separately – but do you really need them? After all, they can add a lot to your monthly bill.
If you’re out at work most of the day, do you also need unlimited broadband, or would a limited package meet your needs and be cheaper?
Read customer reviews
Customer service is a big issue for many people when it comes to broadband and energy suppliers.
Get online and check out their customer reviews to make sure you’re not switching to a company with a bad record.
Check the service
There are a lot of services available online which allow you to check what broadband speeds you can really expect in your area.
Take advantage of these rather than relying on what the providers tell you.
Other ways to save
There are a lot of ways you can knock money off your bills without having to haggle or switch.
Paying for services (such as line rental) up front, switching to paperless billing and setting up a direct debit can all see you paying less over the year.