Sky announces big change – and it could save thousands of customers £180 a year

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 17, 2017 a Sky logo is pictured on a sign next to the entrance to pay-TV giant Sky Plc's headquarters in Isleworth, west London. Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, revealed it had increased a takeover offer for pan-European TV group Sky, valuing the group at £24.5 billion ($32.5 billion, 27.7 billion euros) and trumping Comcast's rival offer. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVASDANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

THOUSANDS of Sky customers could save £180 a year on their broadband and phone bills thanks to a new partnership with the Government.

The company has joined the Department for Work and Pensions’ Social Tariff scheme.

Sky has joined the DWP’s Social Tariff scheme

Social tariffs are discounted broadband and mobile deals for people on Universal Credit and other benefits.

Usually, customers eligible for a social tariff have to actively prove they are claiming benefits with providers, often monthly.

But the Social Tariff scheme sees providers ask the DWP to check whether a customer is eligible for a social tariff instead of the customer.

The DWP has to get the person’s permission to do this beforehand.

But the process is more streamlined and means social tariff customers don’t have to contact their providers as much.

Now, thanks to Sky’s partnership with the DWP, it means thousands of its customers will be able to get easier access to the tariffs.

Mims Davies, Government minister for social mobility, youth and progression, said: “It’s positive to see a major provider, such as Sky, sign up to our scheme, making it easier for families to access cheaper broadband and mobile tariffs in
difficult times, and I call on other providers to follow suit in offering this type of tariff for those in need.

“Claimants who think they might be eligible for one of these tariffs, should contact their provider.

“This is just one of the ways we are working to help households during these tough times as part of the Government’s £37bn support package for those most in need.”

Sky is the latest company to join the Social Tariff scheme following WightFibre.

Before the scheme was introduced in August 2022, people eligible for social tariffs were regularly required to verify their eligibility with Jobcentre letters or screenshots of their Universal Credit account.

In August last year, Sun Money called on the Government, regulator Ofcom and suppliers to do more to support customers on social broadband deals.

It came after it was revealed around four million eligible people eligible weren’t claiming them.

Who is eligible for a social tariff?

Social tariffs are available to households on benefits, but each provider has different eligibility criteria.

All social tariffs are available to people on Universal Credit though.

You might also qualify if you receive Pension Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support.

For more information on what each provider’s eligibility criteria is, visit Ofgem’s website.

To apply for a social tariff, you should check with your provider whether they offer one first – it might be called an “essential” or “basic” package.

You can apply for most tariffs online or you can call your provider and ask to switch.

If your provider doesn’t offer a social tariff, you can switch to one that does.

It’s worth bearing in mind you might have to pay a penalty fee though. Check with your supplier about any early exit fees.