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Internet, phone and TV packages are considered must-have services for most of us, but the monthly cost of these telecoms bundles continue to rise.
Sky customers will see their TV bills rise from 1 June, less than a year after prices last went up – and they’re not the only ones who have been hit with higher charges.
Thankfully, there are ways to beat these price increases. We know because every month, we survey thousands of Which? members to find out how they save money on everyday bills, tasks and purchases. You can see the full range of our members’ money-saving by subscribing to Which? Money magazine.
In February 2015, we asked 4,453 members how they cut the costs of their telecoms packages. Here’s a selection of their best ideas.
Find out more: How to get the best broadband deal – a host of savvy tips
How to cut the cost of your TV and Broadband
Cut out unused services
Which? members saved an average of £84 a year by getting rid of telecoms services they didn’t use.
One option they advise is removing channels you never watch from your TV package. You may find that the vast majority of your viewing is available on Freeview services. If so, you might even want to cancel your paid-for TV service altogether.
Another was to work out how often you use your home phone and whether you could save money by cancelling the service and making all calls on your mobile phone instead.
Finally, they suggest considering if you really need unlimited broadband. Many casual internet users do not. You could save money by downgrading to a more suitable, cheaper, allowance.
Find out more: Broadband calculator – use this tool to estimate see how much data you use
Haggle with your provider
Which? has done plenty of research to demonstrate the effectiveness of haggling – and a number of members told us they were able to secure a better deal by negotiating with their telecoms company. By doing so, they cut their annual bills by an average of £78.
The key to a successful haggle is to demonstrate that you’re thinking about switching provider. Which? members suggest doing this by quoting a competitor’s price or asking to speak to the retention department instead of customer services.
Another option is to ask for your Migration Access Code. You can use this to switch providers without losing your connection, and just asking for it might make your provider willing to discuss a better deal.
Find out more: Haggling for the best broadband deals – use our script to secure a better deal
Use online video services
Plenty of members recommended video-call services such as Facetime, Skype, Viber and Whatsapp as an alternative to paying for a landline.
These services could save you hundreds if you’re fond of making international calls. Which? members who told us they used these services saved an average of £240 a year by doing so.
Find out more: Best free messaging apps – learn which app is best for you
Pay for line rental in advance
If your company allows you to pay for a year’s line rental in advance, it’s far cheaper than paying by monthly direct debit.
What’s more, if your line rental price goes up in the meantime, you’re protected from the increase until your renewal. Which? members cut an average of £48 off their annual bills by paying a lump sum.