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Social Tariffs and other services offered by Communications Providers

Since commissioning our independent research, we have met with communications providers who participate in our Industry Forum. They told us about initiatives they have in place that may help consumers to stay connected when money is tight, whether or not a social tariff applies to them. We urged them to promote those initiatives to all consumers, as any consumer can become financially vulnerable at any time.

Mobile UK – the voice of the United Kingdom’s mobile network operators offers some information on the cost of living crisis here.

Communications providers initiatives can be found below, and are in alphabetical order:


BT offer the following assistance to customers:

  • BT currently support nearly 1 million of their most in need customers with subsidised or discount tariffs like Home Essentials.
  • Working with the Money and Pensions Service BT have built a tool that allows an agent to directly transfer a customer to a debt charity for further advice.
  • BT use a variety of communication methods to talk to customers who may be struggling. To ensure the customer is informed about their debt they should contact BT for support via phone calls, SMS, letter and email. Additionally, customers can contact BT via an online chat.
  • All BT’s communications channels try to make the customer feel informed about their situation and give them confidence to contact them or a 3rd party to help ensure a positive outcome.
  • Vulnerable or customers with extra needs have a flag on their accounts and receive the most appropriate (or preferred) communication from BTs trained agents.
  • A range of solutions are offered to customers to give them space to organise their debts without the worry of further collections activity. This can include Payment Plans, Debt Advice or Breathing space. If a customer is in arrears and struggling to pay, BT can offer support in the form of capped tariffs, payment holidays etc.


Sky appreciate that the economic backdrop is challenging for many households in the UK. As many households continue to face a rising cost of living and growing financial pressures, Sky is focused on ways they can support their most vulnerable customers.

Sky has a range of measures to help keep customers connected, as well as helping them enjoy the content they know and love. These include:

  • Providing a broadband and mobile social tariff that is easily accessible for eligible customers.
  • Providing value across their services, including through TV Essentials. 
  • Supporting their customers to manage their bills, including enabling customers to move to social tariffs without facing any early termination charges.
  • Supporting the communities that need it most through Sky Up including tech grants and digital hubs.

Further details can be found here.

Sky up

Sky has launched a £10 million fund to tackle digital inequality and provide support to a quarter of a million digitally excluded people. Their programme, Sky Up, makes a difference to the internet. They work with schools to raise young people’s aspirations, and they give people from all walks of life the chance to build rewarding careers in media and tech.

By 2025, they aim to have supported 250,000 people. This includes under 25s in low-income areas and those over the age of 65 who lack digital skills. Sky are partnering with charities and organisations to create 100 new Hubs in the most vulnerable communities, providing free Wi-Fi, tech equipment and expert digital training.

Sky are also helping young people get and stay connected through a new Sky Up Grants programme which will see those leaving the care system given equipment and connectivity from Sky so they can access the digital world. More information can be found here.

Tesco Mobile

Tesco Mobile currently do not offer social tariffs, however created a webpage to help ensure people get the best value:

Little helps for your budget (tescomobile.com)


Vodafone UK

Vodafone aim to hep four million people and businesses cross the digital divide by the end of 2025. For more information and how to get involved and receive support please click here.

If you have any difficulties accessing content on this page, please email us at contact@communicationsconsumerpanel.org.uk