What to do if you think your broadband bills are excessive
Our tips can help you understand your bills and make savings.
Are your broadband bills out of control? Or maybe you’ve noticed that your bill is higher every so often but you’re not sure why? If you’re struggling to get a handle on these bills, we’ve got some info that could help.
First thing’s first, take a look at your bills
We know from research that half of Irish consumers trust suppliers to get their bills right, with many not even opening the bills they get on a regular basis.
If you pay by Direct Debit and you never open up your broadband bills, you could potentially be missing important charges or notifications on your bill - and possibly even missing mistakes, which are rare, but do happen. So, in short, reading and understanding your broadband bill is crucial.
If you haven’t read through one of your broadband bills in a while, take some time to take a look at your most recent one to make sure you understand what you’re being charged for, and how these charges work. If you then have any questions or are confused about anything, make sure to contact your provider, who will be happy to explain.
What details appear on my broadband bill?
- General information, including your name, address, and account number.
- Main billing information, such as the billing date, the overall amount due, and the payment due date.
- Balance brought forward, which is any outstanding amount from your last bill.
- Charges, for the billing period - this will include details for all elements of your service, so if you have a phone plan, you’ll see charges for this, along with the broadband charges.
What are some of the most common charges on my bill?
Depending on what type of broadband you have, and whether you have a broadband-only plan, or you bundle with broadband and/or phone, you’ll see some or all of the following charges:
- Line rental, for the phone element of your plan (these can also sometimes be charged for ADSL broadband plans, as the connection runs off a phone line).
- Bundle charges or recurring charges, which is the monthly cost of the bundle you’re signed up to.
- Usage charges, if you have a pay-as-you-use phone plan, or have gone over your plan’s allocated minutes.
- Wireless router charges, which can sometimes be charged monthly - although most providers will either provide the router for free, or charge a once-off fee when you sign up.
- Excess use charges, if you’ve exceeded your monthly download limit - these fees are typically charged for each gigabyte over the maximum limit.
Your bill will also detail any discount applied to your bundle or package, so make sure you check this to ensure the correct discount has been applied, and it matches what you signed up to.
How can I reduce my broadband bills?
First of all, if you’ve reviewed your bills and there is an issue, or you feel you have been overcharged, you should contact your provider, as they will be able to rectify any issues and refund you, where appropriate.
However, more commonly, it’s likely you’ll have found that your bill is correct, but you feel that what you’re paying each month is too high. If that’s the case, you could consider the following:
- Think about your TV package. Do you spend most of your time streaming content via the likes of Netflix or NOW TV, rather than watching traditional TV? If so, downgrading to a more basic deal could save you hundreds of Euro over the course of the year.
- Bundle up! If you have broadband, TV, home phone and a mobile phone, see if you can get a discount by buying two or more from the same provider - known as ‘bundling’ - if you don’t already do this.
- Decide if you really need your phone plan. The majority of us don’t use our home phones regularly anymore - so if you’re paying for this service but never use it, consider cancelling it to cut back on charges.
- Switch to a new provider. If you’ve been with the same provider for some time, the chances are that you’re paying over the odds for your broadband package at this stage. Providers generally offer the biggest discounts to new customers signing up to their plans, so you’ll make significant savings by comparing broadband deals and switching.
- Switching to an unlimited plan. If you’re not on an unlimited broadband plan already, you could be facing excess charges each time you go over your download limit. As such, switching to an unlimited broadband plan, if you don’t have one already, could save you, as you’ll pay a set amount each month, regardless of how much data you use.