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Regular Broadband-related news and comment from the Broadband.co.uk team.

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Broadband Price Rises

What to do when your broadband provider puts their prices up

Posted on 2018-11-15 13:44 in Features

We've all been there. You seek out the best value broadband service; it all goes swimmingly for a few months; and then - Blam! - a letter lands on your doormat telling you that the price is going up.

Mid-contract price rises are the worst part of any broadband deal, and they're mostly unavoidable. But if the increase is larger than you're expecting you don't have to accept it. Depending on how much extra you're being asked to pay, and whether you knew about it before you signed up, you may have options.

Let's take a look at what you can do when your broadband supplier puts up their prices.

Are broadband suppliers allowed to put their prices up?

Nobody likes it when prices go up, but sometimes broadband providers are indeed allowed to start charging you more. In fact, in a lot of cases you'll have agreed to it. Here are the three main scenarios where you might encounter price hikes.

1. Your minimum contract period has ended.

To attract new customers, most broadband suppliers offer a bonus price that covers the minimum contract period, normally between six months and two years. When this period ends your broadband service will continue, but the price will shoot up by sometimes more than 50 percent. You can easily end up paying an extra £20 a month. What's worse, if you stick with this package you're likely to see annual price hikes way above average. To put it simply, when your minimum contract period ends you must start shopping for a new deal. And make a note of the date it ends, too, so you don't forget.

2. Your contract terms specify allowed price hikes.

On a variable deal, your provider will state in the contract that they can bump the price by maybe five or ten percent after a certain time. As long as they stay within this agreed amount, it's fine. But here's the thing: information on agreed price increases can't be hidden away in the small print where you might miss it. Everything you're agreeing to should be made clear before you sign up.

3. Prices go up in line with inflation.

Most broadband packages will incur small price increases in line with inflation. Even fixed-price deals can be hit by this, as long as it's stated in the contract terms. Fortunately, this only amounts to a few pence a month so isn't really worth worrying about. It's kind of unavoidable, too, since everyone does it.

Other mid-contract price rises

Price rises aren't just limited to the ones that are written in your contract. Broadband providers might still jack up their prices for any number of reasons. Perhaps they want to bring you in line with their revamped pricing structure. Maybe they're improving the service, like making it faster. Or maybe they just need more money.

Whatever, you don't have to accept these increases. If it wasn't what you signed up to you have the right to cancel your contract without paying a penalty.

What needs to happen when the price goes up?

When your ISP decides they want to hit you up for a little extra cash, they must inform you in writing 30 days before the new prices come into effect. Make sure you keep an eye out for the letter or email because the timing is really important.

If you're eligible to leave mid-contract you will need to inform your provider during this 30 day period. If you wait longer than that you're effectively accepting the new prices and are stuck with them until your deal ends.

How you can cancel your contract without penalty

So, you've received a letter telling you that your broadband prices are going up, and by a larger amount than what you agreed to. You now have the right to find a new supplier, and you won't have to pay a termination fee even if you've got still got months left on your deal.

What you need to do is inform your provider of your plan to leave. Send them a letter or email, or give them a call to start the process in motion. Make sure to mention that you're leaving because of the price rise. You must do this within 30 days of receiving the letter informing you of the price rises. This is a legal right, so you shouldn't face any obstacles.

What are your options?

When you tell them that you're leaving, your provider might offer you a deal to get you stay. If you're happy with the service you've been getting then by all means try and negotiate for the best deal you can get. But remember, it's easy to switch broadband providers these days. Don't assume that staying with your old provider is the simplest option.

At the same time, start looking for a new package. Use our postcode checker to find the best broadband deals in your area. Providers reserve their best deals for new customers, so you should be able to save a heap of money over what you're currently paying. You can also use these prices if you decide to haggle with your existing provider instead.

Price rises are going to hit all of us eventually. But you can minimise the risks while shopping for a new deal. Some suppliers, like TalkTalk and Plusnet, are starting to offer more fixed-price deals. You can also pick up some fantastic introductory offers, with very low prices over the first year.

Click here to compare broadband prices and start shopping now.

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Best TV Deals

How to get the cheapest deals on all the TV channels you want

Posted on 2018-11-06 16:55 in Announcements Features

We're living in a golden age of TV. There's never been so many incredible shows to watch, and never so many different services to watch them on.

There's a bewlidering array of choices, and it presents you with a bit of a problem. Sign up to just a few channels and you might not able to get all the programmes you want; sign up for them all and you'll end up paying a fortune.

So what's the best way to make sure you don't miss all the unmissable new shows? Do you need Sky or can you stream instead? Should you pick Netflix or NOW TV? And what's the cheapest way to watch live Premier League football?

In the search to get all the channels you want, it's so easy end up with a lot more than you actually need. That's a waste - and completely unnecessary.

Our new in-depth guide to getting the best value TV services cuts through all the confusion. Whether you want boxsets, live sports or the hottest new movies, we'll tell you how to get it for the best possible price.

We'll show you:

  • The best way to catch prestige shows like House of Cards, The Crown and Game of Thrones, and how to find great deals on streaming services.
  • How you can save up to £100 a year on Premier League football by streaming with NOW TV instead of getting it direct from Sky.
  • How to put your old Sky dish and box to work and get access to 150+ free satellite channels.
  • Where to find the most - and the cheapest - HD movies, TV and sports.
  • How to get the best deals on broadband and TV bundles.

And this is only the start. The sheer range of TV options available to us all today is as vast as it is exciting. If you're still trying to figure out which services are right for you, and how you can spend the least amount of money to get them, check out our TV guide now.

Once you've decided what you need, take at the look at the latest TV and broadband bundles, or make sure your internet speed is ready for streaming with our top ultrafast fibre broadband deals.

Read our guide to getting the best TV services at the lowest prices.

 

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TalkTalk with choice of £100 reward card

EXPIRED: One week remains to take advantage of TalkTalk's student fibre offer

Posted on 2018-09-19 10:56 in Offers Expired TalkTalk

For many universities Freshers Week is underway, meaning that term starts soon. If you're returning to your student house or about to move in to a new house share, now's the time to snap up those last minute student broadband offers!

If you'll be sharing your internet connection with a group of friends then superfast broadband is a must have, and in most areas that means fibre-to-the-cabinet services, like TalkTalk Faster Fibre.

You'll need that faster speed if you're planning to watch streaming video services like iPlayer, Netflix, Prime Video or NOW TV - especially if your housemates will be streaming at the same time as you. Then add online coursework submission, gaming and cloud storage like iCloud, DropBox and OneDrive, and fibre broadband begins to look like an essential for your student house.

But a common downside of fibre for students is the 18 month minimum contracts, that's why TalkTalk are offering students their Faster Fibre product on a shorter 12 months contract!

For just £30 a month you'll get unlimited fibre broadband with an average download speed of 36Mb*, the price is fixed for the entire length of the 12 month contract and there's no upfront cost if you already have a phone line installed.

If you need higher download speeds, you can opt for the Speed Boost for only £2.50 extra per month and gain an average download speed of 63Mb*.

To sweeten the deal, we've teamed up with TalkTalk to offer an exclusive £100 reward**; either a Great British Pub Card, The Restaurant Card, a Tesco voucher or an Amazon gift card - just sign up online for one of the TalkTalk Faster Fibre student deals via Broadband.co.uk by the 27th of September!

If you don't need fibre, TalkTalk also offers the UK's lowest priced phone line broadband deal - TalkTalk Fast Broadband is just £17 per month fixed price for 12 months with no upfront cost!

And if you need an even shorter contract term, check out our student guide.

* Speeds only available in fibre-enabled areas. Average speeds are based on those achieved by 50% of customers during peak hours of 8pm to 10pm. Your broadband speed will vary depending on factors such as your location and distance from the street cabinet (your exact speed estimate will be given at point of sale). Use our postcode checker to find what speeds are available in your area.

** Choice of £100 voucher available to new customers when your purchase TalkTalk Faster Fibre for Students or Faster Fibre with Speed Boost for Students through Broadband.co.uk via our exclusive giftcloud voucher sign-up page before 27th of September 2018. Orders completed through webchat or via telesales are not eligible. You must provide your email address. It will take up to 90 days from purchase for your voucher code to be emailed. Further terms and conditions apply, click through for full details.

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TalkTalk TV with Sky Sports Boost

EXPIRED: Hurry! TalkTalk's Faster Fibre with Sky Sports Boost offer ends soon!

Posted on 2018-08-09 15:10 in Offers Expired TalkTalk

If you're a sports fan and looking for a new broadband package, TalkTalk's Faster Fibre with Sky Sports Boost deal may be perfect for you!

For just £37.50 a month for the first 9 months (then £56.50 for the remainder of the 18 month contract), you can get the TV and Sports package plus a Faster Fibre broadband connection with free activation* when you sign up online!

The TalkTalk TV package with Sports Boost gives you access to:

  • 8 Sky Sports channels including Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports football and Sky Sports F1
  • FREE TV box
  • 80+ Freeview channels, with 15 in HD
  • On Demand, including iPlayer, ITV Player and All4
  • Rent the latest blockbuster movies from only £4
  • TV Select, with 15 of the nation's favourite channels, including 6 Sky channels
  • Personalise your package by adding extra channels like Kids TV and Sky Cinema on a flexible one month contract

The Faster Fibre broadband package comprises of:

  • Average download speeds of 35Mb*
  • Totally unlimited download allowance
  • Free WiFi Hub, twice as fast as the old Super router
  • Guaranteed fixed price for the length of your contract
  • Only pay for the calls you use, though phone packages are available if needed, with the option to add mobile calls for just £7.50 a month

This amazing offer is only running for one more week, so make sure you hurry and sign up for the Faster Fibre with Sky Sports Boost before time runs out!

* Offer only available in fibre-enabled areas. Broadband speed will vary depending on your location (your exact speed estimate will be given at point of sale). Average speeds are based on what 50% of customers can achieve during peak hours of 8pm to 10pm. Use our postcode checker to find what speeds are available in your area. You need to connect your TalkTalk TV Box to the internet and your TV aerial. Post and packaging fee of £9.95 applies. Offer ends 2018-08-16.

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BT Student Broadband

Are you starting or returning to university this year? Check out BT's student broadband deals!

Posted on 2018-08-03 13:27 in Offers BT

With Summer in full swing the new academic year may seem far away, but if you're starting or returning to university then you'll want to make sure you're all set up for broadband in your new digs. As a student broadband is going to be vital, from planning your social life and streaming TV or gaming in your downtime, to the things important to your education, like research, communicating with your tutors and submitting coursework.

Getting your internet connection set up may seem daunting, but don't worry, it's pretty simple really. BT have broadband deals designed exclusively for students, with shorter than standard contract lengths so you're not paying a penalty to cancel early when the university year is over. With unlimited downloads and fast fibre speeds, everyone in your student household with all their devices is catered for.

BT offer a choice of two packages:

Both packages are on a 9 month contract and come with unlimited monthly usage, the BT Smart Hub, unlimited UK weekend landline calls, and free access to over 5 million UK wi-fi hotspots when you're out and about.

If your student housing isn't in a fibre-enabled area, don't worry. You'll be offered the standard broadband package with average speeds of 10Mb. You'll still get the rest of the benefits above for just £25 a month*.

Interested? Head on over to the BT student page to get started!

 

* Up front and delivery costs of £44.99 apply to fibre packages and £29.99 to standard broadband.

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TalkTalk WiFi Hub

Get TalkTalk's new WiFi hub with one of their low price broadband deals!

Posted on 2018-06-29 14:32 in News Offers TalkTalk

TalkTalk's low-price offers on broadband are now even better with their new WiFi Hub.

The WiFi Hub, worth £120, can be selected at the point of purchase instead of the current TalkTalk Super Router. It offers several improvements over the older model, including: 

  • Simple set up - the hub comes pre-configured, so you only need to plug it in and switch it and you're good to go
  • Twice as fast - the WiFi connection on the new hub is twice as fast as the Super Router
  • Connect more devices - the Super Router allowed you to connect 1-4 devices, this has been increased to up to 9 devices on the WiFi Hub
  • Stable connection - the hub uses advanced technology that helps break through interference, making the connection more stable throughout the home
  • Smart WiFi - the hub recognises connected devices and adjust the signal to give them the best speeds for their needs

Of course, you'll be wanting a broadband package to go along with this fantastic WiFi Hub, and TalkTalk have some great offers on right now. Sign up before the end of the 13th of July and get a TalkTalk fibre deal from just £22.50 a month on an 18 month contract! Your chosen package will come with:

  • Fast, totally unlimited broadband with speeds with speeds averaging at 35Mb, or 63Mb* if it's available in your area
  • Guaranteed fixed price for the full 18 month contract
  • FREE activation when you sign up online
  • Phone packages are available on all deals with the option to add mobile calls for just £7.50 a month

If fibre isn't available in your area yet you can still get TalkTalk's standard Fast Broadband package. For just £17 a month on a 12 month contract you can get speeds that average at 11Mb* along with the other features available with fibre packages.

You could also throw a TV package into the bundle, as TalkTalk offer TV options* with all their broadband packages. You'll get the benefits that come with broadband, along with:

  • 80+ Freeview channels, with 15 in HD
  • On Demand, including iPlayer, ITV Player and All4
  • Rent the latest blockbuster movies from only £4
  • TV Select, with 15 of the nation's favourite channels, including 6 Sky channels
  • Personalise your package by adding extra channels like Kids TV, Sky Cinema and Sky Sports on a flexible one month contract

Or you can go with TalkTalk's TV Plus package* and get extra features, such as:

  • Record up to 180 hours of live TV
  • 7 Day catch-up
  • 30 extra entertainment channels

If you're already a TalkTalk customer, you can still upgrade to a Fibre package or add a TV package easily!

Interested? Head on over to TalkTalk to get started!

* Broadband speed will vary depending on your location (your exact speed estimate will be given at point of sale). Use our postcode checker to find what speeds are available in your area. TalkTalk TV or TV Plus box required, cost £25. You need to connect your TalkTalk TV Box to the internet and your TV aerial. Offer ends 2018-07-13.

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Man With Laptop

All change for broadband advertising, average speeds are here

Posted on 2018-06-27 14:39 in News Features

If you haven't compared broadband speeds for a while, you may have been surprised to find that the way they're talked about has changed. Where did all those "up tos" go and has everything got a little slower overnight?

Well it's not broadband speeds that have changed, it's the rules for how they're advertised. Everything's become a little more representative of what the typical customer can expect to receive from their broadband.

New guidance from the Advertising Standards Authority means that broadband providers can only advertise internet speeds that at least half of its customers can get. Described as an "average speed", it will give you a far clearer picture of how you can expect a provider's service to perform.

How has broadband advertising changed?

Here are the key changes:

  • Broadband providers can no longer advertise their packages with an "up to" speed.
  • They must display an "average speed" attained by at least 50% of their customers during peak hours, between 8pm and 10pm.
  • Any providers that wish to deviate from this policy must be able to show that their advertising will not mislead customers.
  • Providers must also be more transparent about other factors that will affect the speed of their services. This includes any traffic management policies they have in place.

Previously, the advertised speeds only needed to be available to 10% of users. That led to the industry standardising on figures such as "up to 17Mb" or "up to 38Mb", and was essentially meaningless. It gave you no indication of real world performance and no way to compare providers. Those who understood how the industry worked came to assume they'd get slower than the advertised speeds; those who didn't would often end up disappointed with what they'd bought. Either way, it was misleading. The new rules fix that.

As a result, the speeds now advertised are slower than they were a few months ago. Remember, it's only the advertising that has changed - the speeds you'll get are the same as you would have got anyway.

One of the big consequences is that it's now easier to compare providers based on speed. You can find the UK's fastest broadband provider using our price comparison tool. Just click here to view all our home broadband deals sorted in order of their average speed.

What else do you need to know?

The new rules remove any doubt from broadband ads. They give you a much clearer picture about what you can expect from a particular provider. But there's still a few other things to consider when you're looking to switch broadband suppliers.

1. There's no guaranteed speed

The average speed is calculated from the median speeds recorded during peak hours. This means that half of all a provider's customers will achieve the quoted speed or faster, and half will get something slower. What it doesn't tell you is which side of the line you'll fall. Treat it as guidance, not as a guaranteed level.

Ofcom's guidance requires providers to give you an accurate speed estimate when you sign up. This is what you should judge your real world performance on.

2. Small speed differences may not matter

While it's now easier to compare average speeds of providers, it isn't a given that faster means better. For example, a provider advertising slightly slower average speeds might simply have a higher number of customers in rural areas, where broadband infrastructure is notoriously patchy.

3. Infrastructure is the main factor in broadband speed

The infrastructure a provider uses - rather than the provider itself - is the biggest factor that determines your broadband speeds. So, if you switch between two providers using the same infrastructure - the Openreach network, for example - you'll get broadly the same speeds. If you switch from a provider that uses Openreach to one with its own network, like Virgin, you could see vastly different speeds.

That doesn't mean there aren't many other benefits to switching broadband providers. Improved reliability and better customer service are among the best reasons to switch.

4. Other things can affect your broadband speed

Finally, remember that lots of other things can affect your broadband speeds. If your internet performance is well below what you are expecting, check out our guide on how to speed up slow broadband for tips on improving the situation.

What speed do you need?

It's important to know what broadband speed you're getting to ensure that it's suitable for your needs. We've got a post outlining what internet speed you need, depending on what you're doing online and how many people there are in your household. You can then use our Broadband Speed Test to find out how fast your internet is, and if you're getting the level of service you're paying for.

And if you decide it's time to switch, compare fibre broadband deals in your area now.

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TalkTalk TV Plus

EXPIRED: Even more savings with TalkTalk's Big Broadband Sale!

Posted on 2018-05-25 14:10 in News Offers Expired TalkTalk

TalkTalk's Big Broadband sale just got bigger with further reductions on their previous low-price offers!

The standard Fast Broadband package is now just £17 a month on a 12 month contract. You can get:

  • Totally unlimited broadband with average speeds of 11Mb*
  • Guaranteed fixed price for the full 12 month contract
  • FREE activation when you sign up online

Sign up before the end of the 31st of May and get a TalkTalk fibre deal from just £24 a month on an 18 month contract! You'll get the same as you would on the Fast Broadband package, as well as average speeds of 35Mb, or 63Mb* if it's available in your area. You can also enjoy upload speeds with an average of 9Mb, perfect for sharing videos and gaming!

As standard you'll only pay for the calls you use, but if you regularly use your land line for calls phone packages are available on all deals with the option to add mobile calls for just £7.50 a month.

Why not grab a TV package** to go with your chosen broadband package? TalkTalk TV packages come with:

  • 80+ Freeview channels, with 15 in HD
  • On Demand, including iPlayer, ITV Player and All4
  • Rent the latest blockbuster movies from only £4
  • TV Select, with 15 of the nation's favourite channels, including 6 Sky channels
  • Personalise your package by adding extra channels like Kids TV, Sky Cinema and Sky Sports on a flexible one month contract

Want more TV? TalkTalk's TV Plus package** has extra features, such as:

  • Record up to 180 hours of live TV
  • 7 Day catch-up
  • 30 extra entertainment channels

Head on over to TalkTalk to place your order!

Already a TalkTalk customer? Why not upgrade to a Fibre package or add a TV package to your existing broadband?

* Broadband speed will vary depending on your location (your exact speed estimate will be given at point of sale). Average speeds are based on what 50% of customers can achieve during peak hours of 8pm to 10pm. Use our postcode checker to find what speeds are available in your area.
** TalkTalk TV or TV Plus box required, cost £25. You need to connect your TalkTalk TV Box to the internet and your TV aerial.
Fast Broadband offer ends 2018-07-12. Faster Fibre offer ends 2018-05-31.

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TalkTalk TV Plus

EXPIRED: Grab a great value broadband deal in TalkTalk's 25% off Big Broadband Sale!

Posted on 2018-04-23 14:59 in News Offers Expired TalkTalk

If you're looking to refresh your broadband deal along with your regular Spring cleaning, then why not take a look at TalkTalk's latest low-price offers?

Sign up before the end of the 17th of May and get a TalkTalk fibre deal from just £25 a month on an 18 month contract! Your chosen package will come with:

  • Fast, totally unlimited broadband with speeds of up to 38Mb, or 76Mb* if it's available in your area
  • Guaranteed fixed price for the full 18 month contract
  • FREE activation when you sign up online
  • Upload speeds increased from 2Mb to 10Mb
  • Phone packages are available on all deals with the option to add mobile calls for just £7.50 a month

Fibre not available in your area yet? Don't worry, TalkTalk have you covered with their Fast Broadband package. For just £18.95 a month on a 12 month contract you can get speeds of up to 17Mb* along with the other features available with fibre packages.

Want to throw a TV package into the mix? TalkTalk offer TV options* with all their broadband packages. You'll get the benefits that come with broadband, along with:

  • 80+ Freeview channels, with 15 in HD
  • On Demand, including iPlayer, ITV Player and All4
  • Rent the latest blockbuster movies from only £4
  • TV Select, with 15 of the nation's favourite channels, including 6 Sky channels
  • Personalise your package by adding extra channels like Kids TV, Sky Cinema and Sky Sports on a flexible one month contract

Or you can go with TalkTalk's TV Plus package* and get extra features, such as:

  • Record up to 180 hours of live TV
  • 7 Day catch-up
  • 30 extra entertainment channels

If you're already a TalkTalk customer, you can also upgrade to a Fibre package or add a TV package easily!

Interested? Head on over to TalkTalk to get started!

* Broadband speed will vary depending on your location (your exact speed estimate will be given at point of sale). Use our postcode checker to find what speeds are available in your area. TalkTalk TV or TV Plus box required, cost £25. You need to connect your TalkTalk TV Box to the internet and your TV aerial. Offer ends 2018-05-17.

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Man using computer

How to spot if you've been contacted by a broadband phone scammer

Posted on 2018-03-12 14:34 in Features

Phone scams are unfortunately common these days, and many people fall victim to them as the scammers can be very convincing and catch vulnerable people unawares. Most people are aware of financial bank scams, or people claiming to be from Microsoft saying there's a problem with your PC so they can get you to install malicious software. Similarly, broadband customers are reporting that they're getting contacted by scammers claiming to be from BT Openreach, and that there is something wrong with their router.

It's easy enough to make sure you're not caught out by this, and we've got some information to arm yourself with so that you can stay safe.

BT Openreach will never contact you directly out of the blue

BT Openreach don't provide internet service directly. They're responsible for running and maintaining the phone/broadband network and aren't directly involved with the public. If BT Openreach need to be involved then it's to do with needing to fix faults on the line, and your Internet Service Provider will deal directly with them. In the case of a faulty router, BT Openreach wouldn't be involved at all, as it's either you or your provider who supplied the router.

Your ISP is also highly unlikely to contact you out of the blue like this

If there are problems with your individual router, your ISP won't know about them, and you'd need to contact customer support to report a problem yourself. In the event a problem is discovered with a batch of routers, your ISP would make an official statement on the matter, most likely this would be via the email registered to your account, or via letter.

If there was a genuine problem with your router

There are simple checks to be done before you even get to checking the router itself, such as replacing cables or filters. These are basic first steps that all staff will ask a customer to run when they are contacted.

You won't find any information by running some random command on your PC. For example, 'perfmon' is a common command scammers ask you to run, which is related to the performance of your PC, nothing to do with your router or your internet speeds. You'd need to access the router directly to get useful information, usually by putting the local IP address to it into your internet browser (such as 192.168.1.1).

There are some simple things to do to check if a scammer has contacted you

  • Ask them who your ISP is - they either won't know, or if your ISP is BT, the anwer should not be BT Openreach. Genuine BT customer support staff all know this.
  • Ask them what model your router is - odds are they'll give you a generic answer of 'BT Hub' because they have no way of knowing. If there's a problem as they claim, then they'd know that information.
  • Ask them how to access your router to find the information - they have no good reason to insist you run checks on your PC.
  • Take note of the number that called you, and do a Google search for it - usually the first results will reveal it is a known number used for scams. If it's a number associated with your ISP, that will be obvious in the search results.

Remember, it's always better safe than sorry when it comes to phone scams

If you're really unsure of whether it is a scam or not, say you'll contact your ISP customer services directly and hang up. If the call is genuine, then the caller will have your security interests at heart and won't mind you hanging up to run checks to verify that they're legitimate.

If you do contact your ISP directly, be aware that some scammers keep the line open so they can pretend to be the company you're trying to contact. It would be a good idea to contact your ISP with a different phone (such as your mobile) or use other methods of contact, such as live chat online, or call someone you know to clear the line first.

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