Along with several other providers, NOW Broadband have announced details of their social tariff broadband package for just £20 a month.
But is it worth getting, are you eligible, and how much are NOW Broadband charging for this reduced-price package? Read on to find out all the details.
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What is a Social Tariff?
A Social Tariff is essentially a reduced-price broadband or phone package. Normally, you need to be in receipt of certain benefits to be eligible.
These cheaper packages are available either to new or existing customers – or sometimes both.
Thankfully, in the case of NOW Broadband, to get the social tariff package, you can be either a new OR an existing customer. Find out more about broadband social tariffs here.
However, there are some catches. Not everyone can get this discounted rate – it is only available to those who are claiming Universal or Pension Credit (or both). And you are also limited to only one broadband package; you cannot choose for example a “super fast” internet package via the social tariff system.
Read on to find out more details about the eligibility requirements and how to get started!
Eligibility: How do I get NOW Broadband social tariff?
It is straight-forward enough to get the NOW Broadband Basics discount, but first you have to make sure that you’re eligible.
Firstly, you need to be in receipt of either Universal Credit (UC) or Pension Credit (PC). If you are in receipt of either of these benefits, then you should be able to get a discounted broadband package from NOW.
However, you also need to be the billpayer or account holder. In other words, only the person paying for NOW Broadband can be the one in receipt of benefits. It may make sense to sign up at NOW Broadband under your spouse or partner’s name, if they are the ones receiving benefits.
If you are confident you meet the eligibility guidelines then you’ll need to phone NOW on 0333 759 5056. Sadly, it’s not possible to sign up online to the Basics plan.
If you don’t want to have to make phonecalls to register, then consider an alternative broadband provider that lets you sign-up on their website immediately – a good alternative is the BT Home Essentials broadband plan from BT.
What about other forms of benefit?
Sadly, NOW Broadband do not specify any other types of benefit that may (or may not) be eligible for discounted broadband with them.
NOW Broadband only mention Universal and Pension Credit respectively. If you aren’t sure, then the best bet is to contact NOW Broadband and ask if other forms of benefit or pension are allowed.
How do NOW Broadband verify my eligibility?
Previously, the process that internet providers used to verify benefit recipient’s details was cumbersome and, frankfully, took ages.
Thankfully, the DWP has allowed internet providers to use their new system to instantly verify the status of any benefit claimaint. All they generally need to verify your status is your name, address, and National Insurance number.
This will give the internet provider enough information to see if you are eligible for the social tariff or not. In most cases, they will be able to give you an instant answer.
How much can I save with NOW Broadband social tariff?
NOW Broadband are already one of the cheapest internet service providers – or ISPs – in the UK today.
If you are in receipt of certain types of benefit, you can save even more money. Like with BT and Sky Broadband, NOW Broadband also offer a special package only to those who are eligible. This package is not available to anyone else: NOW calls it the “Broadband Basics” package.
The Broadband Basics package includes:
- NOW Fab Fibre for £20 a month (usual price £32 a month); and
- NOW Pay as you Use phone calls, at no extra cost.
In plain English, this means that you are saving £12 a month over the normal price that other people who aren’t getting the social tariff discount are paying.
Which means in one year you’ll have saved a super £144… for doing practically nothing.
There’s more good news too: the NOW Broadband Basics package is available as an ongoing contract. What does this mean? Well, other providers like Sky will lock you in for 18 months, but with NOW you can cancel after only 31 days notice.
Can I cancel early? Are there termination fees?
The great thing about NOW’s Basics package is that you only need to give 31 days notice in advance of terminating your broadband.
Unlike with others such as BT, there are no early termination fees to pay either.
How fast is NOW Broadband Basics?
There are two advertised speeds available – depending on where you live.
If you live in a fibre-enabled area, then you will be able to get the NOW Fab Fibre package, for £20 a month. The average download speeds for this package are 36Mbps – that’s very fast, given the low price.
If you can get the NOW Fab Fibre package, our advice is to do so.
However if you are not in a fibre-enabled area, then you will instead be able to get the NOW Brilliant Broadband package for £18 a month. This offers a lower saving of £2 a month; the normal price is £20 a month for everyone else not claiming the social tariff discount. However, it is still worth getting, even with the lesser discount available.
Review: How good is NOW Broadband Basics?
The great thing about NOW Broadband Basics is that it’s fast enough for most households. Even if you are a larger family, or have teenagers who enjoy streaming and social media, the speeds available are absolutely fine. Remember that you are getting the exact same package as full-paying customers, except they are paying more.
Can I upgrade to even faster internet?
Sadly not. NOW Broadband do not offer the option to upgrade to NOW Super Fibre for social tariff users – if you want to do that, you will need to pay the normal monthly price.
Can I change the NOW Calls plan?
Absolutely; you can upgrade at any time to a different Calls plan, though NOW do not offer any sort of discount.