NOW Broadband has just announced that most of its customers will see their bills rise by £42 per year (£3.50 a month) from July 5.
Thankfully, if you're affected by this news, then you can cancel your contract without paying a penalty. If you're thinking of switching, head over to our best broadband deals hub. Here, you'll be able to see how much you could save by cancelling your current Now Broadband deal and signing up with another provider.
You'll also see how we've outlined everything you need to know about the impending price increase. We've outlined the details about if/how the change will affect you and the steps you can take to avoid paying more for your broadband.
The details around NOW's price hike
NOW's announcement comes hot on the heels of similar news releases from major providers such as BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media. These providers have already implemented price rises of up to 14.4% - this was the inflation figure at the time plus four percentage points.
While some major providers have gradually raised their prices year-on-year, this price increase is actually NOW's first since the company launched in 2018.
In a statement, NOW Broadband 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."
The majority of broadband and home phone customers will be affected
At present, NOW has not revealed the exact number of customers who will be affected by the price hike. However, we do know that it will affect most of the company's broadband and home phone customers in the UK. This includes those on its 'Brilliant Broadband', 'Fab Fibre' and 'Super Fibre' packages.
The same price increase of £3.50 per month will apply regardless of which package you have taken out. It will come into effect from July 5 onwards.
However, it's important to stress that the price change won't affect every NOW Broadband customer and bills for the following customers will remain the same:
- Those on Now Broadband's 'Broadband Basics' plan. This is a social tariff for people on Universal Credit and some other benefits. It will remain competitively priced at £20.
- TV-only members. The prices of Now's TV packages are set separately and are not included in the July price rise. This means you'll only be affected by the price change if you have Now Broadband.
But, if you are going to be affected by the price increase, then you'll be pleased to hear that you can leave NOW Broadband free of charge (even if you're under contract). However, you'll need to do this within 31 days of receiving NOW's notification of the price rise in order to avoid being charged.
What can I do if I want to stay with NOW Broadband?
If you really like NOW Broadband and want to stay with the provider, then it's well worth calling them and attempting to haggle. As you can leave your contract penalty-free at the moment, they may be willing to negotiate and switch you to a cheaper tariff.
Generally speaking, broadband providers are much more willing to negotiate with customers than TV or insurance providers. However, there's no guarantee of success. To boost your chances, you should do some research before you call them to discuss your contract.
- Head over to our best broadband deals page and run a broadband comparison.
- Make a note of the best deals available.
- Make time to speak to your provider in the morning, when phone lines are usually quieter.
- Ask to speak to the retentions department, as they have the power to reduce costs.
- Use a friendly and approachable tone and do not get angry.
- Don't panic if they call your bluff and say they'll disconnect you.
- If they won't reduce the price of your broadband, ask if they'd instead be willing to include any extras.
What can I do if I want to switch provider?
If you speak to NOW Broadband and find that they're not willing to negotiate with you, then you can vote with your feet and leave the company without paying any form of penalty.
As we mentioned earlier, NOW Broadband has confirmed that any customer who is affected by the price rise can leave their contract without paying any early termination charges. However, if you do decide that you'd like to leave NOW Broadband, you'll need to do so within 31 days of receiving notification from the company that the price rise is coming into force. After this period, you'll be charged to leave your contract.
Each individual situation is different, but you may find that leaving NOW Broadband and moving to a different provider is the best course of action and will save you the most money. This is because broadband providers usually reserve the best and cheapest broadband deals for new customers. So, you may be able to receive a significant saving or even grab a great incentive like a gift card pre-loaded with cash.
At this stage, it's also worth reviewing the current speeds you're receiving and what you're actually using your internet connection for. After all, it's easy to get lured in by headline speeds, but you may discover that you're actually paying too much for allowances or speeds you're not using.
Similarly, if you're struggling financially and you're in receipt of benefits, then it's also worth specifically looking into a social tariff. These specialist tariffs sit at the cheaper end of the market and they've been designed specifically for people who receive income support, universal credit or disability allowance. If you meet the eligibility criteria, then a tariff like this will probably provide you with a considerable saving.
Finally, although it's usually the case that switchers and new customers receive the best deals around, this isn't always the case. So, before you decide to cancel your NOW Broadband contract, check that you can actually switch to a cheaper deal.
The easiest way of doing this is to put your postcode into the widget below. Using this information, we can show you all of the best and cheapest broadband deals available at your address.