My household bills are streamlined; up until now, the one exception has been our broadband internet.
We’ve been with BT since moving in two years ago, with the broadband costing around £20 a month. When our contract expired, BT’s semi-coherent call centre drones began telephoning non-stop with various deals, to get us to sign up for another 18 months, but to be honest their “special offers” were all pretty feeble.
Internet, for me, isn’t like the other household bills. Water and energy are worth scrimping on: you get a fixed flow, no matter who you’re with. Council tax is non-negotiable (sadly). But – as I have discovered to my cost in the past – falling upon the cheapest internet deal isn’t always the best idea. Especially if their complaints hotline is a premium rate number.
I spend a lot of time online, for work as well as pleasure, so a borked or unreliable internet connection spells disaster. So I’ve been happy to stump up the extra few quid for BT Broadband, because it’s a reliable service. At the same time, I have been keeping my eye out for tasty deals…
…So this week, I plumped for Orange Broadband. I am pleased I did, for these reasons:
- If you are a Orange mobile customer, you can get Orange Broadband for £10 a month. The specs are identical to BT’s, in terms of speed etc., but come at half the price.
- Orange’s customer care people tend to be friendly and helpful. Unlike BT’s. When I phoned BT to get the MAC number so that I could give it to the Orange, BT wouldn’t give it to me and I had to get the Man of the House to phone. Apparently, although both our names were on the bill, he was listed as the sole account holder, 1950s-style. What a jip.
- You get a free second phone line. I’ve been looking into getting a second phone for my home office, for a new business. BT wanted to send an engineer out with a drill, and charge £120 for the privilege. Plus line rental and bills. Sod that, I thought. This Orange phone line (socket on the internet box) has my local area code and zero set-up costs: even the number you call to activate the line is a freephone number. Plus, a lot of the calls are free too.
4. I called them to sign up, and the box and related gubbins arrived within the week.
Sounds good to me! Does anyone know of any better deals around right now?
Update: This post was included in the Money Hacks Carnival #50.