Blog post -
Social Tariffs – helping you get online for less
An internet connection – broadband for most – has become essential for everyday life from communication to finding out information to entertainment.
Social tariffs are special low-cost broadband deals available to customers receiving certain benefits such as Universal Credit and Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit).
What is a social tariff?
Social tariffs are special discounted deals available for low-income customers. They’re usually a little cheaper than standard broadband tariffs and are not subject to price rises or exit fees.
Who is eligible for a social tariff?
Anyone who receives a ‘means-tested’ benefit, such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit or legacy equivalents such as Employment & Support Allowance, is likely to be eligible. Some providers also offer social tariffs to vulnerable households that receive ‘non-means-tested’ benefits such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Please check with your provider for requirements.
Is it worth me signing up to a social tariff?
It’s worth considering your options. A key benefit of social tariffs is their affordable, fixed pricing. It may be possible to access broadband deals that aren’t social tariffs. Keep in mind that these are usually subject to annual price rises and exit fees.
Is it difficult to sign up?
Providers usually have dedicated webpages for their social tariffs. They won’t show up on comparison sites. In some cases, you’ll need to get in touch with the provider via email or phone to sign up to a social tariff.
You may need to prove your eligibility to sign up – although providers are working to make this as straightforward as possible. Keep in mind that the person who receives the means-tested benefit must be the one who applies for the service.
Will I need to pay an exit fee to move over to a social tariff?
Most providers will waive any early termination fees if you move from an existing contract to their social tariff.
I’m not eligible for a social tariff - what should I do?
If you’re worried about the amount your broadband is costing you, the best steps to take depend on whether you're on a fixed-term contract.
If you are on a fixed-term contract, contact your provider for support. Ask them what they can do to help - they might arrange an affordable payment plan for you, give you extra time to pay, help you move to a more affordable deal or reduce your bill.
If you’re not in a fixed-term contract with your broadband provider, you’re likely to be able to reduce your costs by shopping around. You can choose to switch to a new provider and move onto a new offer.
Do you need an extra bit of help?
There is now a telephone-based service set up to work directly with the people of Glasgow. It offers free, confidential support, information, and advice for citizens on a wide range of issues. They'll listen to what you need, what your aims are and work with you to help you access the right support services, at the right time and in the right place.