Vodafone offers £12 broadband deal for benefit claimants – but only for some DWP payments | Personal Finance | Finance
This fixed social tariff is available for households in receipt of means-tested benefit payments who are struggling to pay their bills. The Vodafone Essentials Broadband package costs only £12 for families who are eligible for the support. According to the broadband provider, it is the cheapest social tariff deal currently on the market.
However, to be eligible for Vodafone’s broadband deal, claimants need to be receiving certain benefit payments from the DWP.
Among the qualifying payment for the social tariff include:
- Universal Credit
- Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Disability Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
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The Essentials Broadband deal from Vodafone comes with a 12 month contract for customers.
Similar to other major broadband providers, Vodafone raises the prices of its deals every April in line with the consumer price index (CPI) published in January, with an additional 3.9 percent.
Despite this, Vodafone has confirmed that the Essentials Broadband will be exempt from this and will remain the same price for the full 12 months.
Broadband experts are lobbying for providers to help households more amid the rise in the cost of living.
Rocio Concha, Which?’s director of Policy and Advocacy, explained: “This new broadband offer by Vodafone is a positive step for eligible customers as the provider states there won’t be any additional charges such as set up fees or exit fees although it’s not explicitly clear if current customers will be able to switch to this new tariff for free.
“As part of its campaign for businesses in essential sectors, including broadband, food and energy, to do more to help customers struggling with the soaring cost of living, Which? is calling for all providers to widen access to offer a range of social tariff options to ensure eligible consumers can choose the right connection for their household’s needs and Vodafone should consider this as a next step.”
Households are currently facing a double whammy of soaring energy bills and inflation-hiked prices on goods and utilities.
Various charities and organisations have called for the private sector to assist the Government in helping low income families; a sentiment which is echoed by Ofcom.
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Catherine Hiley, a broadband expert at Uswitch.com, outlined how the country’s media regulator has been pushing for the roll-out of more social tariffs amid the cost of living crisis.
Ms Hiley said: “Access to reliable broadband is a household necessity, and this new Vodafone social tariff is a welcome addition to the line-up of deals available to help those in need.
“Ofcom has been calling on every provider to introduce social tariffs. And while some have been slow to act, it is positive to see they are listening.
“Financially vulnerable people now have several options when it comes to broadband social tariffs. And notably, this deal is £3 less per month than the BT Home Essential package.”
The consumer expert encouraged households on low income to “shop around” for better broadband deals even if they are not eligible for social tariffs.
She added: “Means-tested social tariffs are a lifeline for lower-income customers, but many still don’t know they are available.
“These tariffs are often difficult to find on the provider’s own website and more effort must be made to reach out to those that most need them.
“If you’re not eligible for a social tariff but are still struggling to afford your broadband, shop around for the best deals available.”