It's the time of year when thoughts turn to curling up in front of the TV on those cold winter evenings, and there's nothing quite like being able to catch up on your favourite TV series or gorge on a few films as the nights draw in. But, with a lot of providers announcing price hikes in recent months, you may be wondering how you can keep your bills in check while still making the most of all that entertainment goodness - so we're here to help!
TalkTalk is the latest phone and broadband provider to announce an above-inflation price hike, hot on the heels of BT and Sky who have announced similar rises in the last few weeks. From 1 December, TalkTalk customers will see the cost of their landlines rise from £15.95 per month to £16.70 per month - an increase of 4.7% - while several packages will also be subject to price rises.
Customers on its "Plus" calls and broadband bundle will be charged £3 more per month (£18.50) while those who take its Anytime UK Calls Boost will see their charges increase from £5 to £7.50 per month. Call connection fees will also increase by 1p to 16p per chargeable call, which will take effect on 1 January 2015.
TalkTalk is still touted as being cheaper than some competitors, particularly for TV packages, but the price hikes won't sit well with many customers. Those who aren't happy with the increases can cancel their contract by contacting TalkTalk within 30 days of receiving the notification of the new prices.
There's clearly still a price war going on, however, with Sky and BT increasing their prices by up to 6% (also set to hit customer bills from 1 December) and Virgin is widely expected to follow suit. Some are also upping their game with new services and deals, such as mobile streaming services, extra TV packages and even free broadband, so it could be a great time to compare the options and see how much you could get for your money.
So, just how can you find the deals that are right for you? If you want a package that will help you avoid the price hikes and get as much as you can for your hard-earned cash, there's a lot you need to think about.
The first thing you'll want to do is get out of your existing deal, so you can avoid the price hikes before your bills are hit. Even if you're in the middle of your contract, the rules state that you've got 30 days from receiving the price notification to switch penalty-free, so you won't be lumbered with exit fees. If your prices aren't rising then you'll need to wait until the end of your existing contract, but if it's coming up to that time, get searching!
Here are just a few things you need to bear in mind before you get started.
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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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