Five important details to look for in your broadband bill

internet bills
(Image credit: Getty)

Today’s broadband bills include a lot of detail and jargon. As a result, it can be hard to find all of the important details you need. 

To help you decode your bill and ensure you’re not overspending on your current broadband deal, here we’ve outlined five important bits of information you need to check each month. 

So, read on and discover the five most important things you need to look at when your next broadband bill arrives through your letterbox or your email inbox. Knowing about all of them could help you save money. 

1. Your charges

Depending on how many services you have bundled with your provider, a couple of different payments could contribute to your overall bill. 

On your bill, you should be able to see a breakdown of the cost of each service you pay for, such as your internet, your phone plan and your TV bundle. 

Here, it’s important to remember that some of these services, such as a home phone package, could have different charges each month as the amount you’ll pay will vary based on your usage.

So, if you notice that your bill is either higher or lower than the previous month, this may be because you’ve used a certain service more than usual. Or, you could have used that service in a way that could result in additional charges. For instance, you may have been charged for making calls internationally, or you may have been charged for making daytime calls if your plan only includes free evening and weekend calls. Alternatively, you may have exceeded your data limit. 

By checking the charges section of your bill each month and keeping track of the amount you’re exceeding any allowances by, you can reduce your monthly costs. 

landline phone

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2. The terms of your contract

If you’ve read the breakdown of your charges and you believe that your provider has made an error, then you may be able to speak to them about this. The process for disputing the charges will be outlined on your bill. 

Nowadays, the vast majority of broadband contracts last for either 18 or 24 months. If you’re early into your contract and you’re continually running up additional charges, then you may feel as though the contract you’ve selected isn’t right for your needs. Particularly if you need to keep paying for it for another year or even longer. 

For example, you may have signed up for a deal that has a data cap and provides free evening and weekend calls. However, you may now be realising that you’re exceeding the cap each month and making calls during the day. As such, you may find that your broadband deal is much more costly than you thought it would be. 

As we mentioned above, your bill will show you which part of your package is driving up your costs. If you find it’s the same service that’s costing you more every month, then it will be worth speaking to your provider about this. 

Certain providers will let their customers change part of their deal halfway through their contract. So, try speaking to your provider directly about this or asking them whether they’d be willing to upgrade you to a service that will stop you from racking up additional fees in the future. 

Of course, you can’t do this for free and you’ll need to pay an additional cost. But, upgrading in this way will provide you with price certainty and it will most likely be cheaper than paying a separate monthly fee for over-using your service.

Aloha POS system customer service: Blond woman smiles with headset on

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3. Monthly payment date

As you may expect from its name, your monthly payment date is the day you need to pay for your broadband connection. It should be clearly displayed on your bill. 

If you’ve recently signed up for a new broadband package, then you may not have yet had a chance to select a payment date that suits your financial planning. Generally speaking, it’s likely that you’ll initially be charged on or around the date that you signed up for your contract by default. 

However, if your current payment date doesn’t suit your finances (for example if it falls quite far away from your payday), you can speak to your provider about switching it. Many will allow you to alter your chosen direct debit date, as long as you don’t miss a payment.

Doing this can be incredibly helpful. If you move all of your direct debits to shortly after you’re paid, you can clear all of them immediately and then plan your finances for the rest of the month. You may find it a little easier to budget if the rest of your month is bill-free! 

someone putting a coin into a jar labeled budget

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4. Contract end date

Before you took out your broadband deal, you will have been notified about the length of the contract you were signing up to. Of course, it’s easy to lose track of these things, particularly as the amount of direct debits and contracts we all sign up for seems to grow each year. 

Thankfully, most providers make it clear how long you have left before your contract is up. BT, for example, clearly displays your contract end date under the product that you pay for. However, we should point out that some providers don’t display this information at all. 

If you can’t find your contract end date on your bill, then there’s no need to be alarmed. You should be able to visit your provider’s website and log into your account to find out.

You should always keep a note of your contract’s end date. After all, if your contract expires and you don’t realise, you’ll be moved onto a new ‘out of contract’ rate that will likely be much more expensive. By contrast, if you know when your contract ends, you’ll be able to either switch to a great new deal or renew your contract before you’re charged more expensive ‘out of contract’ prices.

Fibre broadband deals

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5. End of contract notification

This final point is linked to the one above. Towards the end of your contract, your provider will send you an end-of-contract notification along with one of your bills. 

You normally receive your end-of-contract notification in the same way that you receive your bills. For example, if you receive your bill by post then you’ll also receive your end-of-contract notification by post. But, if you receive your bill by email, then you’ll usually also receive your end-of-contract notification by email, too. 

Your end-of-contract notification will usually be sent to you around a month before your current plan ends and it will give you three options: 

  • The chance to take out a new broadband deal with them 
  • The option to switch to a new broadband deal with a different provider (if you give sufficient notice) 
  • The option to cancel your contract (with sufficient notice) 

Which of these options is best for you is dependent on your personal circumstances. However, you should choose one of them. If you do not reply, your provider will move you onto a more expensive plan. 

It’s likely that your provider will include lots of details about their offers with their end-of-contract notification. However, you should remember that you are free to look elsewhere and shop around for the best possible deal. 

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Tom Brook

Tom is a freelance copywriter and content marketer with over seven years' experience. Originally from an agency background, he is proud to have worked on campaigns for a number of energy providers, comparison sites and consumer brands.