Vodafone Broadband Social Tariff – How Do I Get It?

More and more people are hearing about social tariffs, which were  recently introduced by Ofcom and the government. Vodafone have now launched their own social tariff package called “Broadband Essentials” with speeds of up to 38Mbps, for just £12 a month.

Interested? Check your eligibility to get reduced-price broadband with Vodafone using this article.

⚠️ If you just want to go ahead and sign-up to the £12 a month social tariff now, then here is the link to the Vodafone signup form.

What exactly is a social tariff?

You may have heard the adverts on the radio, or you might have even seen them on the TV. But what exactly is a social tariff?

In short, a social tariff means those in receipt of certain benefits get a reduction on the price of their monthly broadband, water or energy. You don’t apply to the government for a social tariff – it’s all being handled by the utility providers directly.

This means that – if you are eligible – you can save around £15 every month off the price of your Vodafone broadband, and it’s for both new & existing customers.

If you are an existing Vodafone broadband customer, it makes sense to switch over to the cheaper package and save money too. After all, you get the same level of service and average download speeds as a customer who pays the full monthly price.

Why was the Social Tariff system introduced?

Ofcom and the UK government introduced the system in 2022, to help with the cost of living crisis. It is well known that this is adversely affecting hard-up folk in society in particular. Studies show that financially struggling households are considering cancelling their broadband altogether – so the industry and Ofcom have worked together to find a solution. Afer all, every household should have access to the internet.

This solution that Ofcom came up with, is the social tariff system, and it’s available on Vodafone broadband for just £12 a month. Vodafone call it the “Essentials Broadband” package.

The fact is, hundreds of people are signing up for discounted social tariff broadband every day – if you qualify, you’d be silly not to do so too. The application process is easy, automated and pretty much instant.

But do you qualify for Vodafone’s new broadband social tariff packages? Read on to find out more.

Can I sign up for Vodafone social tariff as a new customer?

Yes. Vodafone accept both new and existing customers to their “Essentials” package. Hooray!

Am I eligible for Vodafone’s broadband social tariff?

Although we think that the social tariff system is a great idea, the eligibility requirements are causing some confusion.

The ‘general’ requirements for most providers are that you need to be in receipt of either Universal Credit (UC) or Pension Credit (PC).

However, if you are not in receipt of either of these benefits, then don’t worry. Some broadband providers have their own eligibility requirements, meaning that if you are receiving for example Jobsekkers Allowance (JSA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP), then you may still qualify for a social tariff.

Vodafone are – thankfully – one of the better companies at outlining their eligibility requirements… To receive the social tariff discount and to get the “Essentials” package from Vodafone, you need to be in receipt of ANY ONE of the following:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Interestingly, unlike with some other providers such as Sky Broadband or NOW Broadband, Vodafone do NOT accept Pension Credit (PC).

If you meet the requirements, sign up now on the Vodafone website instantly.

I am in receipt of another benefit not listed, am I eligible?

If you are in receipt of for example Pension Credit (PC), then Vodafone do not list this in their eligibility list and it is unlikely that you will be eligible for their Essentials Broadband package.

However, if you are an existing Vodafone customer and feel that you are financially vulnerable, contact Vodafone and ask to be put on their Essentials Broadband package. They will look at the options available.

If in doubt, you should always contact Vodafone and ask the question. Many are struggling financially, so don’t feel reluctant to do so. Please update us in the comments on how it goes.

How much does the Essentials Broadband package cost?

If you sign up for the social tariff with Vodafone, you will be using their “Essentials Broadband” package. The price of the Essentials package is just £12 per month, the contract is for 12 months, and offers download speeds of up to 38Mbps.

Full-paying customers will be paying £25 a month for a similar package. This means that you are saving £13 a month – or £156 a year!

How fast is the Vodafone Essentials Broadband package?

The advertised speed is ‘up to’ 38Mbps.

This is similar to speeds from companies like BT and Virgin Media on their social tariff packages.

For most households, this will be more than you will need. 38Mbps means you can stream, watch Netflix, and do some gaming all at the same time.

If you would like faster speeds, sadly Vodafone say that these aren’t available without paying the full monthly price.

What happens at the end of the contract?

Each Vodafone Essentials Broadband package comes with a 12 month contract.

After the contract expires, Vodafone will get in touch with you. If you are still in receipt of one of the approved benefits, they will continue offering you the Home Essentials (or equivalent) package.

If you aren’t in receipt of any of the approved benefits at the end of the contract period, then Vodafone will revert you to their standard pricing. But you will also be free to leave, without any termination fees, as you will be out of contract. Win-win!

Are there any in-contract price rises?

Good news – no, there aren’t. Vodafone promise that they will never increase the price of the Essentials Broadband package for the duration of the contract.

After the 12 month contract ends, they might increase the price in line with inflation, but this remains to be seen. Remember that social tariffs are still quite a new system and the finer details are still being refined.

What if I am not eligible?

The best option is to hunt around for a discount code for Vodafone. You won’t be able to get their Essentials Broadband package, but you may be surprised to see how much you can save on their standard broadband pricing.

After all, broadband is highly competitive in the UK, and companies like Vodafone are jumping over themselves to win new customers. They often do this by offering generous discounts and promotions.

What about existing Vodafone customers?

Vodafone has said that existing customers on either their Fibre 1 or Fibre 2 packages can move to the Essentials Broadband package, assuming they meet the eligiblity requirements.

It isn’t clear if you can do this mid-contract, though it certainly looks like it. The best bet is to contact Vodafone and ask them directly.

Review: Vodafone Essentials package

If you qualify for the Essentials Broadband package, you may be asking: should I go for it, or choose another internet provider? Read our review here to find out.

Firstly, let’s clear up some confusion.

As required by law, Vodafone’s Essential Broadband package gives you the same average download speeds to those customers paying full price. There is a misconception that social tariff broadband users receive ‘slower’ speeds – but this is simply not true.

You will also get a free/included Wi-Fi router if you need it, the exact same model that other Vodafone customers get who pay full price:

If you are not in receipt of certain benefits then you probably won’t qualify for Broadband Essentials. But don’t fret, we’ve outlined the best broadband social tariff packages for you on this page.

Anything else I need to know?

The average download speeds promised by Vodafone are relatively fast. However, if you want superfast internet then you may want to consider another provider, such as Hyperoptic.

Also be ware that Vodafone’s Essentials Broadband package is, quite clearly, only for broadband. In other words, it doesn’t include phone calls.

This is a shame, but all is not lost. Vodafone-owned VOXI have recently introduced a new social tariff “unlimited” SIM Only plan for just £10 a month.

How do I sign up?

You only need to complete the form on the link below, and someone from Vodafone will contact you typically within 1-3 hours.

You can sign up for Vodafone Broadband Essentials here on the Vodafone website.

13 thoughts on “Vodafone Broadband Social Tariff – How Do I Get It?

  1. Hi i have signed up for vodaphone social tariff took them about a month to call me, iam currently using a smarty sim in a sim router at the same price £12 a month unlimited data, iam just not sure on the broadband data usage with vodaphone.

    When they called me i was so happy i forgot to ask is it unlimited usage they call the plan essentials 1 it costs £12 a mth.

    Have searched the internet nothing about broadband usage , the reason iam leaving smarty speeds to up and down for streaming in 4k.

  2. I am with Virgin Media for my Broadband which has been put up to £33 , i am on benefits Attendance Allowance, Pension Credit and i am a 74 year old so i think i qualify for this new service so can you please give me some advise.

  3. Hello, I am a Working Tax Credit beneficiary (which is under a different department to The Department for Work and Pensions, so presumably the database BT etc has to check whether one is eligible is not HMRC’s?). I also claim Housing Benefits from my Local Authority.

    I can’t seem to find any of the companies offering their Social Tariff contracts to WTC or Housing Benefits claimants (who are not under the umbrella of Universal Credits, administered by the DWP). I checked on OfCom’s site and it seems to state that each provider is afforded some discretion regarding granting these tariffs to customers (and as it is relatively new, there is no industry standard that I can find).

    Can anyone in a similar situation offer me some advice or share a success story, please, as money is very tight?

  4. I am working with a gentleman who is receiving a PIP and is nonverbal. We have tried twice to sign up for the Vodaphone social tariff, but the phone call has to come to my mobile so I can arrange access to his flat. He needs to go online because he cannot use a phone.

  5. I am am currently a virgin media customer, claiming pip. If I moved to this tariff , am I able to keep my existing phone number? I only ask as I moved from virgin to talk talk and took my number with me, then moved back to virgin again, keeping the same number.

  6. I spend over an hour yesterday with Vodafone trying to get an essentials contract. It is not available as there are no spare lines at the exchange as I am in a rural location.
    I meet all the criteria but cannot get this deal.

    My only option is to continue using a 4g SIM card router costing me £28 per month with an average speed of above 3mb

    EE offered me a contract at £22.50 per month but it is still too expensive

    While I am aware under a UK GOV act open reach have to supply me an essentials package at £15 per month at 1 mb this would not work and I would still have to pay £50 for a line install.

    Any suggestions as I am currently paying £40 per month including my cell phone.

  7. Thank you this is great we finally managed to get approved for our DLA. I only have one quesiton do you know how long it takes to get installed please we are near bath uk

  8. As an existing customer, I applied for this social broadband as I am now struggling to make ends meet, Vodafone said yes yo do qualify, and can sign you up today, once you pay the termination fee, of nearly £200. If I had that kind of money I would not need or want this social broadband

    1. Hi John, You should not have to pay a termination fee, I would suggest ringing up again as it sounds like the person you spoke with, does not understand what Social Tariffs are.

    2. I also phoned Vodafone as an existing customer on the advice of Ofcom and as yourself, I was told that I am eligible for the Essentials Package. When I said thank you, you are a lifesaver I was then told that I must complete the initial contract or pay in excess of £570.
      Though I have continued to pay the full price I have noticed that my broadband download to 18MB at best, is this a coincidence!!!
      I am now coming to the last payment I have enquired once again as to the Essentials Package and after three attempts I have had no reply and this was filling in their own form on their own website.
      Do I continue to try or go with someone else, as Vodafone offer up to 38MB for £12 per month over 12 months.
      This would give me a saving of £38.84 per month.
      Alternatives start around £20 but I am not sure that I or anyone else can take out a contract straight on to their Social Tariff’s.
      It would appear that Ofcom did not clarify enough to Broadband suppliers and these suppliers are taking advantage of this confusion or pushing loopholes at the expense of us that are on Universal Credit etc.
      I know this does not answer a question but hopefully someone from any Broadband supplier will read these comments and give those of us that are skint a better clarity and information about this.

  9. I am a disabled ex serviceman on PIP and ESA and am currently signed onto TalkTalk but my contract doesn’t end until next April, could I switch to you with no penalties.

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