Category: Direct Save Broadband

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Is Direct Save broadband any good? 0

Is Direct Save broadband any good?

IN among the clamour about cheap broadband deals from the big providers, it’s easy to overlook the smaller budget ISPs. Direct Save Telecom are one such company, offering discounted broadband, line rental and phone calls – and the option to go contract free. They resell BT, so they’re available pretty much everywhere – and they’re one of the few companies not to carry out credit checks on prospective customers, making them a useful option for people with less than ideal credit histories.

But as well as offering super budget broadband, they also supply ultrafast fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband of up to 300Mb in certain areas We’ll start by looking at the usual broadband packages, but the impatient can jump ahead: To find out about the phone service, click here 1 . Those interested in ultrafast broadband to the home, click here 2 . Afraid of commitment?

Find out about the no contract options here 3 . And we round things off with a look at what no credit check means here 4 . Broadband Direct Save sell standard broadband of up to 17Mb, and fibre broadband in both 38Mb and 76Mb varieties.

The standard broadband is the real budget option; prices for their fibre are pretty similar to those charged by other providers. Here are the options: Package Broadband Price Line rental Total price Broadband + Evening & Weekend Calls Up to 17Mb Unlimited 1.95 17.75 19.70 More info Fibre + Weekend Calls Up to 38Mb Unlimited Free for 3 mths, then 14.75 17.75 17.75 for 3 mths, then 32.50 More info Superfast Fibre + Weekend Calls Up to 76Mb Unlimited 19.95 17.75 37.70 More info One of the unusual things about Direct Save is the length of their standard broadband contracts, which at 24 months long are some of, if not the longest, on the market. But at the other end of the scale, they also offer a no-contract option, with different prices, that runs for 28 days at a time.

There’s more on that no contract option below 5 . Fibre broadband contracts are much more standard, with customers expected to make a minimum 18-month commitment. Phone calls and line rental Anyone wanting to take broadband must also take Direct Save’s line rental, and at 16.75 for broadband customers, it’s only just cheaper than BT’s.

We say “for broadband customers” because phone-only customers pay a maximum of 16.25 a month – and that’s for the no-contract deal. Most landline-only customers will find themselves paying just 14.95 a month with an 18-month contract. The line rental stops this from being the cheapest broadband out there – see who’s offering that by looking at our comparison tables here 6 .

But both groups can take advantage of the ISP’s upfront line rental payment deal. At 138 for the year, this brings the cost down to the equivalent of 11.50 a month. That means it’s possible to get up to 17Mb broadband plus phone line for the equivalent of 13.45 a month – which is among the very cheapest deals going.

All broadband packages come with inclusive weekend calls at the very least. People taking standard broadband will also get free evening calls. Fibre customers can add evening calls to their package for 1.90 a month.

Opting for anytime calls will cost 5.95 a month. There’s an added complication here in that home phone customers pay different prices for their calls than those who take broadband too. To keep things simple, we’ve listed the most expensive charges customers are likely to face.

Their out-of-allowance call charges are pretty competitive as well. Daytime and evening calls will cost up to 9.5p per minute, and calls to mobiles up 15p per minute; there’s an initial call setup fee of up to 15.75p. Calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers used to be included in Direct Save’s bundles, but from December 2015 they won’t be – the access charge 7 for calls to 08, 09, and 118 numbers is 9.5p per minute.

Calls to mobiles vary depending on calling plan and which network we’re ringing, but the maximum is 15p per minute. There’s also an International Option for a further 1.50 a month, which cuts the cost of calling abroad by at least 40% compared to BT’s standard prices. But for some of the most popular call destinations, this might not actually be necessary.

Calls to these locations – including India, Pakistan and China – already cost at least 80% less than they would with BT. Finally, anyone wanting extra services such as call waiting, divert, and anonymous call reject will pay extra. Most features, including caller display 8 and basic voicemail, cost 3.15 a month.

In fact the only call feature service they offer free is 1471. Even faster broadband In September 2014, Direct Save announced they were entering the FTTP market – offering speeds of up to 300Mb to certain new-build developments. The number of locations where such speeds are available is so small, they’re individually named on the Direct Save site.

But for those who live in one of the 40 or so England-only developments, there are four speeds available: Package Price Line rental Total price 25Mb Broadband + weekend calls Free for 3 months, then 4.95 14.45 14.45 for 3 months, then 19.40 More info 40Mb Broadband + weekend calls Free for 3 months, then 8.95 14.45 14.45 for 3 months, then 23.40 More info 100Mb Broadband + weekend calls Free for 3 months, then 25.00 14.45 14.45 for 3 months, then 39.45 More info 300Mb Broadband + weekend calls Free for 3 months, then 48.50 14.45 14.45 for 3 months, then 62.95 More info Each of these deals comes with a minimum contract of 12 months; prices for additional inclusive calls and features are the same as with standard and normal fibre broadband. There are a few other companies offering FTTP broadband, including Hyperoptic who we reviewed here 9 . At this point in time, none of the FTTP providers are really in a position to offer “budget” connections – but compared to the biggest ultrafast provider in town, Virgin, they’re still quite competitive.

For example: Package Price Line rental Total price 25Mb Broadband + weekend calls Free for 3 months, then 4.95 14.45 14.45 for 3 months, then 19.40 More info 50Mb Broadband + Weekend calls 5 for 12 mths, then 17.50 16.99 21.99 for 12 mths, then 34.49 More info 100Mb Broadband + weekend calls Free for 3 months, then 25.00 14.45 14.45 for 3 months, then 39.45 More info 100Mb Broadband + Weekend calls 10 for 12 mths, then 22.50 16.99 26.99 for 12 mths, then 39.49 More info 200Mb Broadband + Weekend calls 17.50 for 12 mths, then 30 16.99 34.49 for 12 mths, then 46.99 More info 300Mb Broadband + weekend calls Free for 3 months, then 48.50 14.45 14.45 for 3 months, then 62.95 More info No contract broadband As mentioned above, the commitment-shy among us have an ally in Direct Save. The no-contract option is offered as a rolling 28-day service, with just 28 days’ notice required should users want to head elsewhere. Monthly charges are as follows: Package Broadband Price Line rental Total price Broadband Basic + Weekend Calls (No Contract) Up to 17Mb 20GB usage 11.95 16.25 28.20 More info Broadband Family + Weekend Calls (No Contract) Up to 17Mb Unlimited 16.95 16.25 33.20 More info Note the data limit for the cheaper of the two packages.

Anyone who isn’t sure whether they can stay within a 20GB limit has two options: The first is to pay for additional data, at 5 per 5GB. Alternatively, and probably more cost effectively, they can upgrade to the Broadband Family package, which costs 5 more per month, but offers unlimited data. Anyone who isn’t sure what they’re likely to use can get a better idea by looking at our guide to data usage, here 10 .

It’s possible to cut the monthly cost by going for upfront line rental – but as that ties customers in for 12 months at a time, it might not be the logical choice for people who want freedom from contracts. What it does mean, though, is that anyone who’s not so keen on the broadband but likes the cheaper line rental can look for another broadband provider – such as Zen ( more 11 ) or Plusnet ( more 12 ) who both offer broadband to customers without insisting they take the phone line too. No credit check As mentioned at the start, Direct Save don’t carry out any kind of credit check on potential customers during sign up.

The only requirement before they’ll start the phone and broadband service is for customers to pay their first invoice upfront. Direct Save bill everyone on the 7th of each month, so the first invoice is made up of the partial line rental, broadband charges, and any set-up or activation fees for the month of activation, plus the first full month’s service charges. Anyone taking broadband should therefore factor in an activation fee of 24.95 and router P&P costs of 8.95, as well as the first full month’s service charge of 19.70 – a total of 53.60 on top of the partial month’s costs.

Meanwhile, whether because of a house move or a disconnection, Direct Save will reactivate phone lines free of charge, subject to a 50 security payment and a minimum 18-month contract. That 50 money is credited back to the user’s account once the service has begun. However, while the lack of credit check and a fairly reasonable security payment might be good news for people who have less than ideal credit records, the stipulation that bills can only be paid via direct debit may still cause some issues.

Not so cheap Where Direct Save’s budget image falters a little is in terms of adding extras. We’ve already mentioned that while calls themselves are competitively priced, calling features such as voicemail and caller ID are 3.15 each per month. Unlike some of the other providers who charge for such features, Direct Save don’t offer discounts for bundling more than a couple.

And people looking at that 24-month contract and wondering how binding it is should consider the charges for early termination. Anyone giving fewer than 28 days notice of their intention to end the service must pay an administration fee of 19.95. Then customers will incur monthly charges of 5 for their phone line, 10 for broadband, or 15 for fibre.

In short, it’ll cost 19.70 a month to keep the service, or 15 a month until the supposed end of the contract to cancel it. This keeps them in line with Ofcom recommendations that early termination charges shouldn’t cost more than continuing with the service. Anyone who’s paid for line rental upfront will find that’s non-refundable, and still be liable for the 5 a month charge.

However, Direct Save will also ask for compensation to cover the cost of activation and the router – at 69.50 per phone line installed or activated, and 35.00 for the router. All in all As with other budget providers there are stings in the tail. But Direct Save offer an affordable way of getting online, and some really good value phone options, for everyone from those with shaky credit histories to people in ultrafast housing developments.

There are very few companies attempting to do both – and we’ll be watching to see how they fare. Please read our full disclaimer 13 for important information that relates to the service we provide and your use of this site. We aim to provide free reviews and comparisons of consumer products and to keep our editorial content as objective as possible.

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