BT are one of the very first companies to offer a “social tariff” for broadband, but it is only recently that they have launched their “Home Essentials” range. Is it any good, is it worth switching, or should you stay with your regular broadband provider?
What is a Social Tariff?
A Social Tariff is a new, reduced price system for broadband, energy, water. If you are in receipt of benefits (such as Universal Credit, or receive a government pension) then you are probably eligible to pay a reduced monthly price. The Social Tariff system is quite new, and not many people in the UK are aware of it – in fact, it was revealed recently that only 2% of eligible households actually receive any sort of Social Tariff.
The first step is to check that you are eligible. If you are eligible, then you can expect to receive up to -50% off your monthly price for your broadband. For example, if you are paying £40 a month now, then the price could be as low as £20.
BT have pioneered their Home Essentials range. It’s the perfect plan for those on Universal Credit. You can check your eligibility here for all the broadband social tariffs on this website.
Is it cheaper for a reason?
The Social Tariff system is designed to provide a cost-effective way to get broadband without breaking the bank. It is intended only for those households without a higher income; so you need to be on some sort of government support or benefit to receive it. However the product itself is exactly the same as you would receive if paying full price. It uses the same ‘network’ and you aren’t going to be penalised for using it.
Of course, don’t expect lightning fast fibre optic for £15 a month, but if you only need standard broadband then it’s a great way of saving up to £144 a year for doing practically nothing.
You will also receive a regular BT Smart Hub like this:
How do I apply for BT social tariff?
It is surprisingly easy to do this with BT. Unlike other providers, BT can instantly verify your status with the DWP. If you are in a hurry to get set up, then BT are a great choice because of the lack of delays in processing your application.
Here’s how to register today to switch to BT Home Essentials:
Enter your postcode above to see which BT Home Essentials plans are available. Both new and existing BT customers can apply.
Once you’ve picked a plan, you’ll go into our checkout.
As part of the checkout, we’ll run an online eligibility check.
We’ll ask for your last name, date of birth and National Insurance number.
We’ll check these details with the Department for Work and Pensions to see if you’re on one of the qualifying benefits.
You’ll get an instant response and, if eligible, you can complete your Home Essentials order straightaway.
FAQs about BT Home Essentials
Here are some common questions about signing up for the BT Home Essentials broadband package. If you need more help, please contact us.
Will there be a credit check?
Yes, if you are a new customer. If you are an existing customer then a ‘soft’ credit check will take place. This is the same for most if not all broadband providers.
What if I come off benefits, am I still eligible?
Because BT offer only a year-long contract, it doesn’t matter if you are on benefits now but aren’t in the future. The contract is guaranteed for a year; so you can continue to use it for the whole year. This is fine and part of their terms and conditions, so don’t worry!
Home Essentials Plans are available for anyone on one or more of these state benefits:
- Universal Credit (all claimants)
- Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit)
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
You need to be receiving income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance to qualify for Home Essentials. People on contribution-based only JSA are not eligible. If you receive both income and contribution-based JSA, your income-based JSA must be higher.
- Employment and Support Allowance
You need to be receiving income-related Employment and Support Allowance to qualify for Home Essentials. People on contribution-based only ESA are not eligible. If you receive both income and contribution-based ESA, your income-based JSA must be higher.
The person in receipt of one of the above state benefits must be the BT Account Holder of the Home Essentials Plan.
What’s the contract term for Home Essentials Plans?
The Home Essentials Plans have a 12 month duration. However, a customer can choose to leave or swap their plan at any time, there are no cancellation or early termination charges. When a customer reaches month 11 of their Home Essentials Plan, we will contact them by email/letter to let them know that they’re nearing the end of their price guarantee under their Home Essentials Plan and inform them we will run another eligibility check on the 12 month anniversary of their Plan.
How frequently will BT check that I’m eligible for a Home Essentials Plan?
By say they well run an eligibility check every 12 months. If a customer is still eligible for a Home Essentials Plan and wants their Plan to continue, they’ll renew their Plan for another 12 months.