ISPs join in Black Friday fever

samantha smith
By Samantha Smith

broadband offer

WHILE we're yet to embrace the rest of Thanksgiving in the UK, businesses are increasingly keen to get us to embrace the post-holiday blow-out sale side of the US holiday.

The trend started with Amazon four years ago, and was quickly taken up by Asda - owned by US giant Walmart - and other big stores have gradually joined in.

Now the media providers are getting into the pre-Festive sale spirit.

Following the latest round of price rises, it's difficult not to feel that's the least they can do for their increasingly stretched customers.

Who's offering what?

Although just two providers have deals linked explicitly to Black Friday - BT and Plusnet - all the big providers have some kind of offer available pre-Christmas.

BT has two deals, one on its 17Mb broadband and one for its 38Mb fibre package:

Package Usual Price Black Friday Offer
ends 1st Dec
Extra perk
bt Unlimited Broadband + Weekend calls £22 £23.99
for 12 mths,
then £40.99
£50 Sainsbury's gift card
bt Unlimited Infinity 1 + Weekend calls £28.50 £27.99
for 12 mths,
then £47.49
£100 Sainsbury's gift card

Prices and offers may only be correct as the byline date of this article.

Those who already have BT Broadband can still claim the Sainsburys gift card by clicking through and filling in a few details about their account.

Plusnet are offering a year's broadband free, plus £75 cashback:

Package Usual Price Black Friday Offer
ends 1st Dec
Extra perk
plusnet Unlimited, up to 17Mb £2.50 for 12 months, then £9.99 per month, + £15.95 line rental Free broadband for 12 months, + £15.95 line rental £75 cashback

Prices and offers may only be correct as the byline date of this article.

Other Offers

These are in order of urgency - that is, how little time is left before the offer ends.

Until Monday 1 December, Virgin are offering up to £100 bill credit on their bundles, on top of their introductory offers.

Package Includes Price Credit offer
ends 1st Dec
virgin media Big Easy Up to 50Mb fibre, 60+ channels, free Netflix for six months, free weekend calls £16 for 12 months, then £22 a month, + £16.99 line rental £50 bill credit
virgin media Big Bang Up to 100Mb fibre, 130+ channels, free Netflix for six months, free weekend calls £25 for 12 months, then £32 a month, + £16.99 line rental £75 bill credit
virgin media Big Kahuna Up to 152Mb fibre, 230+ channels, free Netflix for six months, free weekend calls £39 for 12 months, then £49 a month, + £16.99 line rental £100 bill credit
virgin media Big Daddy Up to 152Mb fibre, 260+ channels, free Netflix for six months, unlimited anytime calls £85 for 12 months, then £99 a month, + £16.99 line rental £100 bill credit

Prices and offers may only be correct as the byline date of this article.

While this offer has a very short time left, Virgin do run similar deals at other points during the year.

Until December 4th, people signing up to TalkTalk's Simply Broadband packages will get a £100 Love2Shop voucher on top of 12 months of half price or better broadband and TV:

Package Price Perk
talktalk Simply Broadband £20
for 12 mths,
then £25.50
£100 voucher
talktalk Simply Broadband Fibre Medium £27
for 18 mths,
then £32
£100 voucher
talktalk Essentials TV £20
for 12 mths,
then £22.95
£100 voucher

Prices and offers may only be correct as the byline date of this article.

This is another offer that comes around a few times a year, so people thinking of switching who miss out are likely to get another chance fairly soon.

One specifically Christmas-themed deal is being offered by sort-of newcomers Fuel.

Until December 30 they're offering free broadband for 12 months - so all customers will pay is the £15 monthly line rental.

Given their usual introductory price is £2 for 12 months, this is only a saving of £24 across the year, and less than the price of a coffee each month.

Package Price
fuel Unlimited Broadband £23.60

Prices and offers may only be correct as the byline date of this article.

Sky always have some sort of offer on the go for people joining online.

At present they're offering 25% off the cost of each of their TV bundles for the first 12 months, combined with a £75 bill credit.

On top of that, people who sign up for Sky's Movies or Complete bundles will get their broadband free for 12 months.

Sky always have some kind of offer on for people joining online. These range from vouchers and gift cards to varying amounts off the price of their bundles for a certain period. The latest are below:

Package Includes Price Perks
sky Original Bundle 35+ channels £14.74
for 18 mths,
then £22
£75 bill credit
sky Variety Bundle 75+ channels £21.44
for 18 mths,
then £32
£75 bill credit
sky Family Bundle 75+ channels, box sets and Sky 3D £25.46
for 18 mths,
then £38
£75 bill credit
sky Movies Bundle 35+ channels plus 11 Sky Movies channels £14.74
for 18 mths,
then £22
£75 bill credit, free Sky broadband for 12 months
sky Sports Bundle 35+ channels plus 7 Sky Sports channels £14.74
for 18 mths,
then £22
£75 bill credit
sky Complete Bundle 75+ channels, box sets and Sky 3D, 11 Sky Movies channels, 7 Sky Sports channels £55.58
for 18 mths,
then £80
£75 bill credit, free Sky broadband for 12 months

Prices and offers may only be correct as the byline date of this article.

Buyer beware

But before swooping in to get themselves a bargain, customers should check whether they're tied into any contracts, and what the terms of those contracts are.

For example, someone who joined a provider years ago may think they're out of contract, but if they pay line rental upfront they're tied in to the service for 12 months at a time.

TalkTalk will usually credit the equivalent of any months' unused line rental to the final bill.

Virgin won't refund people leaving them before their contract is officially up, but they won't request any further payments either.

Plusnet ask cancellers to pay the total cost of the remaining months of their contract as final payment.

Sky request an early termination charge, and BT charge varying amounts per month of the rest of the contract depending on which services were included.

But that doesn't have to mean missing out on a sweet deal forever. Some companies repeat offers or cycle through a selection of deals, taking away some of the urgency.

For those feeling frustrated and who don't want to wait, there is another option - haggle. Our guide is here.