UK-based customer services - get support from a guaranteed UK call centre using a freephone telephone number
Same price everywhere - regardless of where you live, you'll get John Lewis' lowest prices
Fibre package available - Fibre Extra package averages 66Mb in enabled areas
Phone service included - evening and weekend landline calling included as standard or choose between a range of inclusive call packages including an international calling option
Shorter fibre contracts - John Lewis offer fibre on 12 month contracts rather than the 18 month fibre contracts standard from some other providers
Not the cheapest option - John Lewis have prioritised quality UK-based customer service and fairness of pricing over offering the cheapest price in any area
No standalone broadband - line rental has to be taken from John Lewis and you have to take at least an evening and weekend call plan
No short contracts - the only contract option is 12 months
Telepone support not 24 hour - the freephone support number is only open for calls between 7:30am and 10pm
Calls to mobiles not included - inclusive calls don't include UK mobile phones unless an additional £5/month is paid, which is only available when already paying £5/month extra for Anytime landline calling
Annual CPI plus 3.9% price rises - prices for broadband, line, call plans and call charges will increase with the Consumer Price Index plus 3.9% in June 2021, March 2022 and then annually each March onwards
Features at a glance
10Mb average ADSL speed, 36Mb average Fibre download speed and 66Mb average Fibre Extra download speed
12 month contracts
Unlimited usage allowances on all packages
Free connection on existing phonelines
Free UK-based support line open 8am to 10pm all week
Comprehensive PC security package from BullGuard included
All deals come with AC-rated wireless routers
Range of inclusive landline minutes available with every deal, evening and weekend calling as standard
Sometimes the best way to get a feel for a broadband provider is to read what those who are already customers think of the service they're receiving. Below are all the reviews we've received for John Lewis Broadband.
It isn't even possible to rate John Lewis as low as what I feel fit currently, because I never actually received any broadband. Virtually NOTHING. Activation was to go live the day I was due to move into my new place, router arrived and never activated. Rang to discuss, they said there was an issue with the supplier and told me to try again tomorrow as it could still go live up until 12am. Delayed my move, cost me more money. Next day still not working. My overall move in delay was over 2 weeks. I had no 4G in the property which meant I 1) couldn't move in, 2) work from home. This cost me copious amounts of money including over £400 in rent of a property I couldn't even move in to. Whilst paying them for a service they couldn't even provide me!! The excuse was the order was "stuck". Same excuse from every person I spoke to, nobody could do anything. I cancelled order after 2 weeks totally furious. They cheekily didn't refund me the full amount owed either. Nor did they once offer me compensation for the massive inconvenience they caused me. Not only did this cost me financially, and using up my annual leave with work, it also caused me copious amounts of stress spending hours upon hours chasing for a truthful answer everyday, and driving to the property to keep checking. I would NEVER EVER use John Lewis again for any service after this. They have absolutely no control with their suppliers and their protocol now ensures it's almost impossible to get anything resolved through their many departments and data protection. I'd strongly emphasise avoiding, especially if Northern Ireland customer like myself where this will be set up through Openreach. Both companies are an absolute shambles trying to provide this service!
John Lewis Broadband
Internet connection failed for almost 24hrs, customer service stated that my account had been disconnected, no explanation why. Only solution offered was to buy another package. Very worrying as elderly and vulnerable. Miraculously connection regained next day.
John Lewis Broadband
The broadband itself is good (provides by plusnet) However, after a problem over payment, I was just dumped by the service team. All the promises and assurances went out of the window, and it was a case of ‘computer says no!’ They just would not help, and couldn’t be bothered.
John Lewis Broadband
Neighbour brought down my overhead phone line while cutting back a tree that was fouling it. Reported it to the helpline at 12.10, call was answered within a few seconds and the line was back up by 15.30.
Can't really ask for more.
Although I live in a rural area my standard broadband delivers a pretty consistent 15Mbps.
John Lewis Broadband
Customer service is the worst ever. Please go with someone else. They say anything to get you off the phone. I had 6 months of there system not accepting payments due to system error. I had staff lie to me, put me through to wrong dept on purpose. Mis information is their game just to get you paying them. Don't entertain them. You WILL be disappointed.
John Lewis Broadband
Go to another provider.
Happy to allow a customer, willing to accept an 18 month contract, to leave.
Been paying an out of contract rate of over £40 for 2 months. Asked for a refund, as should only be paying £25 and told no or I could get the woman sacked. £30 refund… and they’ve lost out on an 18 month contract with a loyal customer.
John Lewis Broadband
Tried to sign up to John Lewis never happened, I only found out we weren't going to be connected when I called about another problem, despite a customer service representative trying to help nothing happened.
They blamed previous provider who I phoned countless times who told me my leaving date John Lewis said it was then down to BT open reach after 3 days of phoning and countless emails I got fed up and cancelled the order.
After reading the reviews I'm glad I did don't bother waste of time
John Lewis Broadband
Absolutely awful broadband service. Dysfunctional WIFI speed, to the point i now have to revert to mobile hotspot for any connection at all.
John Lewis Broadband
Due to a change in contract, I moved my service provider from John Lewis to another provider. John Lewis were kept informed at every stage. A customer service assistant advised I was due a refund. 2 weeks later I received an email stating my account was in debt.I rang John Lewis, paid the account and was advised I would get a refund in due course. I received an email to confirm payment. A week later, email received advising I still had an outstanding payment.After numerous calls they confirmed their error and agreed I was due a refund.A week later I have been contacted by a debt collection agency........ We are on the process of getting a mortgage and this has impacted every. please DO NOT use this company!!
John Lewis Broadband
We were moving home so phoned JLB (Plusnet) to cancel my broadband but wanted to keep email account. Plusnet assured me this was possible. However when our broadband contract finished our email account was destroyed! All our emails are permanently lost. I would never use JLB or Plusnet ever again. Their customer service is appalling. If you are a JLB customer BEWARE … backup your emails.
We've all got horror stories about bad customer service. But it's people with health, financial or emotional problems that are still having the most inconsistent experiences when they contact their broadband provider's customer service team.
That's the big finding from research by Ofcom, which looked at the progress the industry has made since the watchdog last year published its guidelines for treating vulnerable customers fairly.
They found that while some users received extra support due to their circumstances, and others reported positive experiences despite the provider not knowing about their vulnerability, the overall service was still patchy.
It suggested that people's experiences were heavily dependent on the member of staff they spoke to, with no guarantee they would get to deal with the same person twice.
It suggests there's still plenty of room for improvement in the training of customer support teams.
What makes a customer vulnerable?
Vulnerabilities come in many forms. They include physical and mental health problems, debt or unemployment, bereavement, or even becoming a victim of crime.
Unsurprisingly, the number of vulnerable customers has increased during the pandemic and its subsequent economic fallout.
While Ofcom rules require all providers to have policies in place for helping vulnerable customers, it isn't always easy for them to automatically tell if someone needs extra support. If you regard yourself as being in a vulnerable group, or if your circumstances have recently changed (you might have lost your job, for example), you should contact your broadband supplier and let them know.
They'll add that information to your account, and it should inform any relevant future interactions you have with them.
What kind of support can you get?
With the definition of vulnerable being quite broad and varied, the types of support you can get are also broad and varied.
You should have access to a range of communications channels to speak to customer support. This could include text relay services or support in different languages.
You should be given the time to get help, support and advice on managing debts without the threat of enforcement action.
Providers could consider giving you a payment holiday to help you manage cashflow issues.
Broadband providers should regard disconnection as a last resort.
Broadband providers' vulnerability policies
Ofcom's guidance expects a number of things from broadband suppliers. They should train their staff to be able to recognise the characteristics, behaviours and verbal cues of someone who might be vulnerable, so they can be proactive in offering support. They should identify vulnerable customers and record their needs. And they should make all of their customers aware of the kinds of support and services that they offer.
Many providers publish vulnerability policies. Some have specific support teams in place for vulnerable customers, and some make it easy for you to register your vulnerable status with them. This information will be treated in confidence, and is subject to all the usual data protection legislation.
Here are the relevant pages for many of the leading providers:
Some of the things you can expect include ways to improve access to support via text relay and NGT services or braille guides; simple instructions on using accessibility services like subtitles on TV; and specific policies and help for dealing with financial issues. Naturally, what's promised and what's delivered are not always the same thing, so check our user reviews to see our customers' experiences of their providers' tech support.
If you want to read the full Ofcom report, click here. Or if you want to compare the best broadband deals in your area today, use our postcode search tool to get started.
You know how it goes. Whenever you start shopping for a new broadband deal, you find yourself being steered towards the faster, flashier and more expensive services.
The thing is, not everyone needs an upgrade. Some of us are happy with what we've already got, and some don't even need that.
If you don't have a house full of kids who are all online 24/7, or if you live on your own, or are part of the generation that's less computer-reliant, then you may be able to get away with a much more basic broadband service. It could even save you some money in the process.
Let's take a look at your options.
How light is light use?
First of all, you need to work out how much you actually use the internet, to make sure your usage is as low as you think it is.
If your usage is mostly things like web browsing, shopping and bill paying then that's definitely light use. TV streaming counts as well, so long as there's only one person in your house doing it at any given time, and that you don't want to watch in the highest quality on your massive 4K TV.
But there are lots of other things as well that you don't tend to think about: Windows updates on your laptop that happen in the background, downloading movies and TV shows to your Sky Q box, playing games, and sharing large files for work. And all those other little devices you've got connected to your Wi-Fi. Some of them won't be downloading much, but it all adds up.
Chances are that you do use more bandwidth than you realise, so do make sure that you buy a broadband service that's right for your needs.
Broadband for light use
The slowest broadband you can get is standard broadband. This is the old pre-fibre service that runs entirely on the copper phone network. It offers average speeds of around 11Mb, which is enough for general web use or for one person to watch Netflix in HD.
Standard broadband is old tech and is set to be phased out in a few years, but you can still get it right now. It doesn't offer huge savings - standard broadband will typically save you a couple of pounds a month, but over the course of a year they do amount to the cheapest deals you can get.
If you don't want to go quite that slow, the most basic fibre deal you can get is from Onestream. Their 17Mb service is the cheapest widely available fibre broadband package.
Most suppliers' entry-level fibre offers more than double that speed, at around 36Mb. Almost every broadband company has a deal at this level, so there's bags of competition on price and service. TalkTalk, Vodafone and EE all have deals around the same price point for the same speed services.
36Mb is ideal for light use - it's affordable but not too restrictive. It can handle many people online at the same, with even two or three streaming movies simultaneously, so has plenty of headroom for when you have guests round.
You could also consider some specialist providers. Hyperoptic and Community Fibre have great value full fibre packages - at 30Mb and 50Mb respectively - but they're both available in only very limited areas. Or you could go for a mobile broadband deal, running on the 4G network (or 5G in some areas), such as the 18Mb plan from Three.
You don't always have to buy the best or fastest broadband deal around. Pick what you need, and if you only need something basic then you've got plenty of choices.
Ready to start shopping for a new broadband deal? Just enter your postcode into our postcode checker and you'll be able to see exactly what offers are available in your street right now.
John Lewis Broadband Buyers Guide - Is John Lewis right for you?
Can I get John Lewis Broadband?
John Lewis Broadband is supplied by Plusnet, which is in turn owned by BT. So, they have the full BT network coverage, which extends to more than 95% of UK households. You should be able to get it, unless you're in a very rural area.
But if John Lewis Broadband is simpy a re-badged version of Plusnet, why would you choose it over the more established tech brand? There's one main reason. Plusnet charge different prices for the same service depending on whether you're situated in a low cost or non-low cost area. John Lewis don't. If you live in the countryside you'll pay the same as you would in the middle of the city.
In addition to that, there's brand recognition to consider. John Lewis stores have a strong reputation for providing outstanding customer service, and they aim to provide a similar level for their broadband products.
Use our postcode checker to see if John Lewis Broadband is available where you live.
There's one standard deal and two fibre offers. All three come on 12 month contracts:
Unlimited - standard ADSL broadband at speeds averaging 10Mb with truly unlimited usage
Fibre - entry-level fibre broadband offering speeds averaging 36Mb for downloads and 9Mb for uploads with truly unlimited usage
Fibre Extra - the faster fibre-optic broadband plan at speeds averaging 66Mb download and 18Mb upload with truly unlimited usage
These packages all come with a home phone service and line rental - there are no standalone broadband options. The phone service comes with inclusive weekend and evening landline calls as standard, allowing you to call most UK landlines for free between 7pm and 7am during the week and anytime at the weekend without charge as long as your call doesn't exceed one hour. You can upgrade this to a full Anytime calls plan for an extra £5/month. For an extra £7/month, an Anytime and International call package is available, offering inclusive calls to most UK landlines all week as well as 300 call minutes to top 20 international destinations, including US cellphones. If you're on one of the Anytime packages, you can add inclusive UK mobile calls for an additional £5/month, otherwise these cost 12.5p/minute at peak times and 10p/minute evenings and weekends.
As with all providers, the speeds are advertised with 'averages' because a variety of factors can affect your download speed, as John Lewis Broadband openly acknowledge. These can include the wiring in your home, time of day (for example, the extra volume of users at peak times means a slower service than late at night) and the length of your copper telephone cabling to either the telephone exchange, in the case of ADSL, or the street cabinet, in the case of fibre. The further away you are in terms of line length, the slower your potential speed is likely to be. You can find out how far you are from your nearest telephone exchange with our postcode checker.
Which package should I choose?
There are a few things you'll want to consider before signing up to John Lewis Broadband, not least what speed you need and whether you need a call plan.
First, the speed. The Unlimited deal, with an average download speed of 10Mb is fine for a small household with only basic demands. It'll be enough for browsing, shopping and social media on multiple devices, and should be okay for streaming Netflix on one device. Any more than that, you need to look at one of the fibe deals. The basic fibre option should be good enough for all but the busiest households, able to handle more than one person watching Netflix or playing online games at the same time. For larger or more demanding homes, go for the fastest deal.
As for whether to choose John Lewis over other providers, consider whether you need the built-in call plan. It's great if you make a lot of landline calls, but if you don't you might be able to shave a few pounds a month off your bill somewhere else. Also, consider where in the country you are. If you're in a more rural area you might find the non-geographic pricing of John Lewis works out cheaper than it would on, say, Plusnet.
Points to consider before you choose
How much do you value freephone UK-based customer support?
Do you regularly use the Internet for bandwidth-heavy activities like gaming or downloading large files?
Do you regularly send files to the cloud or upload a lot of photos or videos?
How many people will be using your broadband connection?
Is speed or capacity a greater priority for you?
Do you use your landline to make a lot of calls?
Would the expense of the faster speed be worth it for you?
It's always good to know upfront what you'll get when signing up with an ISP so you know what you can enjoy for free, or to budget for any extras you may want.
Free wireless router - New customers with John Lewis Broadband get a free inclusive wireless router to help them manage their connections. Standard broadband customers get a Netgear N150 WNR1000 router with wireless ‘N’ technology, a double firewall, wireless security, optional parental controls, and 5 ethernet ports. Fibre users get the more high-end ZyXEL VMG8924 router. This is AC-rated and has dual-band support, meaning faster speeds and stronger connections over distance. There's also the firewall, security and other features. If you prefer, you can use your own router instead.
Online security package - John Lewis Broadband offer a variety of online security options depending on your computer. PC users can download BullGuard, a PC security package with online backup protection, antivirus and antispyware tools, a firewall and a spam filter. Mac users can instead get Intengo software security products with 32% off their retail cost as a John Lewis Broadband customer.
Free evening and weekend calls - Although this is technically built into the price you pay, you do get a non-optional call plan with all broadband packages. It gives you free evening and weekend calls of under 1 hour duration to most UK landlines.
UK-based customer service - Calls to customer service for John Lewis Broadband are free, and they're available into the late evening every night of the week.
What are the benefits of John Lewis Broadband?
The benefits offered by an ISP may be what seals the deal in your decision to buy a package from them.
Free UK-based customer service - Unlike some other ISPs, John Lewis Broadband’s UK-based customer service is freephone, and open 7:30am - 10pm, 7 days a week. There is also an online portal for those who would prefer to have their queries and issues answered in that format.
Equal pricing - For John Lewis Broadband offers customers the same prices no matter where in the UK they live. This stands in stark contrast to most low cost ISPs who offer different prices at different telephone exchanges, usually favouring urban and central exchanges at the expense of many rural customers.
No hidden costs - The John Lewis brand prides itself on being matter-of-fact and straightforward with its deals, and so what you see is what you pay - there are no hidden costs unlike with some other ISPs. This includes having no activation fees, giving you a free connection on existing phone lines.
What are the drawbacks of John Lewis Broadband?
Let's face it, not everything can be perfect, and even the best deals may have a downside.
No standalone broadband - All John Lewis Broadband packages include a home phone service and line rental. This is only really an issue for those who do not plan to use a landline or do not wish to change their existing phone provider, but they might reconsider given that John Lewis Broadband offer a variety of phone offers with their broadband, including free inclusive evening & weekend calls as standard.
No short contract broadband - Customers hoping for shorter contracts may find themselves disappointed by the 12 month minimum contract length.
Telephone support not 24 hour - The freephone support number is closed between 10pm and 7:30am.
Calls to mobiles not included - The inclusive phone plans don't include calls to UK mobile phones, which are charged 10p/minute evenings and weekends, and 12.5p/minute daytime. A £5/month Mobile Bolt-on can be purchased to add anytime calls to UK mobiles, but only if you're already paying at least £5/month for one of the Anytime landline call plans.
Annual CPI increases apply - Prices for broadband, line, call plans and call charges will all increase in June 2021 by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation published by the Office for National Statistics in April of that year plus 3.9%, and then will raise again on the same CPI plus 3.9% basis each March from 2022 onwards. Other prices, content and terms may also change during your contract.