Hundreds of thousands of broadband customers face £24 bill hike – are you one of them? | The Sun

Hundreds of thousands of broadband customers face £24 bill hike – are you one of them? | The Sun


HUNDREDS of thousands of households are facing a broadband bill hike – check to see if you are one of them. 

Earlier this year, a number of broadband and phone firms hiked their rates. The rises come as energy prices and the cost of living crisis clobber family finances.

Shell Energy offers broadband services as well as being a gas and electric supplier.

The provider has said the majority of broadband customers (around 350,000) will see their prices rise from September 1.

The firm had previously delayed a bill hike that was planned for April as households faced a storm of rising bills.

This would have seen customers pay up to £59 a year more. 

But the increase is now set to come into effect and your bills could go up by £24 a year.

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The majority of Shell Energy customers will see an increase of 6.1% or around £2 a month, depending on their product. 

Shell Energy said that the impact on customers will depend on the package they are signed up to and which set of terms and conditions the provider was operating at the time.

The firm said it is writing to all customers to set out what the change will mean for them. 

If you joined or renewed your broadband with Shell between October 4, 2021 and January 8, 2022, your bill will rise by 6.1% a month.

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If you joined or renewed on or after January 9, 2022, you won't be affected by the price rise. 

Not all prices are increasing though – Shell Energy said that 80,000 former Post Office customers will benefit from a price decrease of between 8% and 11% as the firm aligns their pricing.

“Price rises are never welcome and we recognise that this year is particularly challenging for customers,” a Shell Energy Broadband spokesperson told The Sun. 

“Our customers are using more data than ever before, which increases the costs of running the network, so we’ve had to review our pricing.

“We’ve absorbed some of the impact by delaying increases for as long as we could and limiting the size of the increase,” it added. 

For customers who are struggling to pay, Shell Energy has a payment and advice team with specially trained advisors able to help such as a payment plan or moving to cheaper plans. 

It has also set aside £5million in a hardship fund to support both energy and broadband customers most in need of additional help.

You can call Shell Energy to see if you could qualify for this if you are struggling. 

Which firms have put up their prices? 

Shell Energy isn’t the only provider that has put up its prices – many others did so earlier this year. 

O2 and Virgin Mobile said they’d hike bills by as much as £48 a year from April, while Sky announced a hike of £43 a year to broadband and TV bills.

Other increases included BT, EE and Vodafone who said they’d rise prices for customers by up to £74 a year come April. 

Virgin Media also decided to hike prices by £56 a year for broadband and TV customers.

These bills usually rise each year with inflation, and so hikes are usually allowed as per contract.

You should be able to see this in the terms and conditions of your contract.

How to save on broadband and phone bills

There are some handy tips that can help you save on your broadband and phone bills.

You could try shopping around for the best deal – this could save you nearly £100 on your bills.

To switch providers, visit a price comparison website – like Uswitch or MoneySavingExpert. 

You can use these to check out the cheapest deals.

Before you switch, it might be worth calling up your provider and telling them about the lowest rate you've found.

Companies don't want to lose customers and may come up with a last-minute offer to keep you.

Remember, there might be an exit fee if you are still in contract and switch.

Another thing to check is if you are on the right tariff. 

Check you're not paying for any extra add-ons you don't need.

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For example, you could be paying up to £35 for unlimited data – but if you don't regularly use your internet allowance, this is probably not the best value for money.

You could also check to see if you are eligible for a social tariff. Social tariffs are broadband and mobile deals designed to help hard-up households on benefits reduce their costs.

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