Support for customers struggling to pay their phone or broadband bill during the pandemic

02 July 2020

If you’re struggling to pay your phone or broadband bill during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, it’s important that you speak to your provider as soon as possible to see how they can help.

The pandemic has changed how we live, with people more dependent than ever on home phones, mobile or broadband services.

So, we’re working with telecoms providers to make sure they treat customers who are struggling to pay their bills fairly to help them to stay connected. Providers have already done this so far during the pandemic, putting measures in place to protect vulnerable customers and ensuring access to important telecoms services.

We’ve now called on telecoms providers to continue to support consumers over this period, recognising that people might face financial difficulty and therefore be less able to pay their telecoms bills. We expect providers to work with customers who find themselves in this situation and explain how they can help them.

The steps we’ve asked them to take include:

  • prioritising support for customers who might be struggling to pay their telecoms bills, offering advice on managing telecoms debt and strengthening their work with consumer bodies and other organisations who could help these customers;
  • offering options to struggling customers, such as a payment plan, a cheaper tariff, or a delay on their payment;
  • making sure customers still get the level of telecoms service they’re used to if they’ve asked for support, avoiding penalty charges such as late payment fees; and
  • avoiding disconnection for these customers and treating it only as a last resort.

Importantly, we also want to remind you to contact your provider as soon as possible if you’re already in financial difficulty or if you think you’re going to struggle to pay your bills. Your provider can talk you through the options they have in place to help you manage your situation.