Another major broadband provider to hike prices by up to £42 a year in weeks – are you affected?

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A MAJOR broadband provider is hiking bills for thousands of customers within weeks.

Now is increasing the price of its broadband tariffs for the first time since its launch in 2018.

Thousands of Now Broadband customers will see their bills rise from July

The move is expected to affect thousands of customers but Sky, which owns the brand, wouldn’t tell us the exact number.

The average customer will see their bill increase by £42 a year – which works out to £3.50 more per month.

The hike in prices will take effect from Wednesday, July 5.

A statement on the Now website said: “As you might know, many other providers are raising their prices, and we’ll be making some changes.

“From July 5, 2023, the prices of our broadband membership plans will be going up by £3.50. 

“You’ll see the price change reflected in your bill on or after July 5.

“If you’re on an offer, you’ll continue to enjoy a discounted price until your offer end date, but your payments will increase by £3.50 a month.”

It comes after millions of BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media customers saw their bills rise by up to 14.4% in March and April.

But some customers won’t be affected by the price rises.

If you’re signed up to a Now Broadband Basics tariff because you claim Universal Credit or other benefits, you won’t see your prices change.

The tariff cost will remain fixed at £20 a month to help those on lower incomes.

But if you are affected by the price hike you may be able to cancel your contract early.

Can I cancel my contract early?

It’s important to know how cancellations work and the rules surrounding them if you’re not happy with your service.

With most firms, you can usually only cancel penalty-free if you’re outside of your contract minimum term, which is normally the first 12 to 24 months.

After that, you have the option to switch elsewhere.

But because Now Broadband doesn’t include much detail on price rises within its contracts, customers have a right to leave early without facing a penalty.

If you’re unhappy with the price hikes and wish to leave, you’ll need to tell Now within 31 days of receiving notification of the price increase to avoid being charged.

How can I save money on my broadband and mobile contracts?

Switching contracts is one of the single best ways to save money on your broadband bills.

But if you can’t switch mid-contract without facing a penalty, you’d be best to hold off until it’s up for renewal.

In the weeks before your contract is up, use comparison sites to familiarise yourself with what deals are available.

It’s a known fact that new customers always get the best deals.

Sites like MoneySuperMarket and Uswitch all help you customise your search based on price, speed and provider.

This should make it easier to decide whether to renew your contract or move to another provider.

However, if you do not want to switch and are happy with the service you’re getting under your current provider – haggle for a better deal.

You can still make significant savings by renewing your contract rather than rolling on to the tariff you’re given after your deal.

You could save up to £210 a year on your bills by haggling alone.

If you need to speak to a company on the phone, be sure to catch them at the right time.

Make some time to negotiate with your provider in the morning.

This way, you have a better chance of being the first customer through on the phone, and the rep won’t have worked tirelessly through previous calls which may have affected their stress levels.

It pays to be polite when getting through to someone on the phone, as representatives are less inclined to help rude or aggressive customers.

Knowing what other offers are on the market can help you to make a case for yourself to your provider.

If your provider won’t haggle, you can always threaten to leave.

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

It’s also worth investigating social tariffs. These broadband packages and discounts have been created for people who are receiving certain benefits.

They’re often available to those on income support, universal credit, or disability allowance.

Around 4.2million households are eligible for these cheaper tariffs but only 55,000 are making use of them.

Prices start from £12 a month, so ask your provider what’s on offer.