Are you paying for stuff you don’t want? Check your broadband bill!

Studying your broadband bill can reveal errors and disparities, services you don’t need and savings you could be making.

Tuesday, 16 August, 2022

Despite endless promises of a paperless future, there’s still an awful lot of paper in our lives.

A significant percentage of each household’s postal and electronic communications will relate to billing and payments information, which is rarely scrutinised in any detail.

Regular statements are especially prone to being overlooked, skimmed over or stuffed into a drawer.

Yet not studying your broadband bill might be an expensive mistake.

ISPs often make billing errors, while you could be paying for unnecessary add-ons at a time when every penny counts in households up and down the land.

Here’s why it can pay to spend a few minutes studying your broadband bill…

Cost benefit analysis

We all need home internet connectivity, for innumerable reasons. You wouldn’t be reading this article without it, for one thing.

Yet needing broadband and having the most suitable broadband deal for your current circumstances are two very different things.

Firstly, it might become apparent on closer inspection that your current broadband contract has expired, and you’ve been moved onto the ISP’s standard monthly rate.

ISPs are legally obliged to inform their customers when a fixed-term contract is ending, but since this can be by text, email or letter, it’s easy to overlook such a reminder.

Once a (usually favourable) introductory offer period has elapsed, prices tend to jump considerably.

As we’ve previously reported, households out of contract typically pay £100 more than they need to each year – a national annual total of £270 million.

You’ll find a wealth of cost-effective fixed-term contracts right here on

Why did I sign up for that again?

On your latest bill, study the price breakdown to identify each product or service.

Many consumers enter into triple-play or quad-play contracts to save money, only to find they’re paying for things they don’t use, like multiple mobile SIMs.

If there are TV channels you never watch, or mesh routers you haven’t bothered to unbox, it may be worth discussing a package downgrade.

Many ISPs would rather negotiate than lose a customer, especially towards the end of a fixed-term contract. Be proactive in cancelling unnecessary services.

If the sales staff won’t budge, ask to speak to the retentions team or inform them you wish to leave the company, to accelerate negotiations.

The price is right (usually)

ISPs often calculate bills across two months, with refunds or discounts extending throughout a contract’s duration.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming they’ve calculated everything correctly.

Your correspondent spent almost 18 months trying to correct inaccurate billing from a leading full fibre broadband provider..

It was five months after the contract ended before every error was resolved, from duplicate charges and overpayments to the absence of compensation promised after repeated outages.

Compare monthly outgoings to the initial contract data, using a spreadsheet to calculate full-year costs and matching them to the total amounts paid so far.

This might provide valuable evidence if it transpires you’ve been overpaying.

Neil Cumins author picture


Neil is our resident tech expert. He's written guides on loads of broadband head-scratchers and is determined to solve all your technology problems!