About Black Friday broadband deals
By Dan Howdle | Tuesday, November 12th 2019
In this guide
- What is Black Friday?
- Cheap Black Friday broadband deals
- Free gifts and cashback
- Broadband on Black Friday
- Frequently asked questions
Not everything that rubs off on us from the United States is good, and there are many of us out there who don't care much for Black Friday. It is, after all, a day that marks the Friday after Thanksgiving – a celebration you won't find any Brits getting involved in. However, shun Black Friday at your own cost.
Because if you know where to look, there are deals to be had on just about everything, and that includes broadband. If you're looking to switch provider, the week before and Black Friday is a good time to go looking. There are pitfalls, though, and not everything is always exactly as it seems. Read on to find out more.
What is Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Black Friday is American. We borrowed it. It's the next Friday after American Thanksgiving – a day that many, including students and others, have off work. That makes it a prime day for shopping. This has become a day which big American department stores have historically declared to be the first shopping day of Christmas. And to kick things off, they have tended to load their most enticing offers onto this particular day.
Black Friday has come a long way since then, though. It has been exported outside the United States to places like the UK where seldom few have any real idea of its original significance beyond 'that's the day when all the retailers have their pre-Christmas flash sales'. The history of the name is actually in dispute, some arguing it harks back to the crash of the US gold markets in 1869, others that it refers to businesses going 'into the black' as regards their accountancy books.
Whatever the truth behind the term's origin, it's now a thing in the UK, and between it and Cyber Monday (the Monday following Black Friday where a lot of tech deals cluster), you are going to see a lot of retailers, especially in technology, offering discount prices on certain items, and that includes broadband. Generally speaking, Black Friday broadband deals come in three flavours.
- Limited time low price – This is also sometimes referred to as a 'flash sale' – a limited time offer, usually confined to the the 7-10 days surrounding Black Friday, where you will be able to purchase a specific broadband deal or deals for a lower price – essentially a lower monthly cost than normal. Another 'type' that fits this category is a 'free upgrade' where you will pay the same money, but for the faster/better version of that package
- Cashback, reward card, bill credit or voucher – This is where the broadband provider throws in some sort of financial incentive to sign up. Cashback usually takes the form of a preloaded Mastercard you can spend anywhere – this is often called a reward card. In some cases you may see vouchers thrown in that you can only spend in one place, for example Amazon of Marks & Spencer. Bill credit is exactly that – a set amount off your bill, usually spread out across the lifetime of the contract
- Free gift(s) – Occasionally you may see the odd Black Friday broadband deal where there is some sort of free gift on offer. These usually take the form of some piece of consumer tech – a TV, headphones, a games console, something of that ilk. Truth be told, though, these sorts of deals are far less common than they used to be. Another form of free gift you might see is a free subscription to some online service such as Netflix or Spotify
Cheap broadband deals for Black Friday November 2019
If you're just looking to pay a low price, pickings are actually pretty slim this year. Vodafone's free upgrade will provide you its fastest fibre broadband for the price you'd normally pay for its slowest. And there are one or two deals with Virgin Media and TalkTalk where you can get money directly off, or bill credit, provided you bundle in certain services.
Our advice, then, is actually to look out for the deals that provide you with what you need, along with some sort of cashback or voucher incentive, rather than sign up to additional services you perhaps don't need just to get the benefit in question. That is, after all, why the more enticing bonuses tend to sit with broadband and TV bundles – providers are hoping you will tie yourself into more services.
Also, be wary of signing up for a deal on or around Black Friday just because the vouchers or cashback look good. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not the only times of the year when deals like this are available. Far from it. And in fact, in our experience, rarely are the Black Friday deals the best the entire year has to offer. Just bear that in mind.
Black Friday deals with free gifts and cashback
You can see what Black Friday deals are available by using our comparison tool. Everything with a limited time sweetener is listed there. You can see what the offer entails by reading the text just below each box or by looking at the round badges on the right. Since you're down here reading, though, it would be remiss of us not to run quickly through what's on offer this year.
- Deals with gifts – The only 'gift' to speak of is offered by Virgin Media in the form of 12 months of free Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime give you access to its streaming video service where you'll find exclusive movies and TV shows year-round, as well as next day delivery on Amazon Prime items, and other benefits
- Cashback – Only Plusnet is offering cashback you can spend anywhere. Just sign up to its 36Mb or 66Mb fibre broadband and you will get £70 cashback. The offer ends very soon, though, and may well have ended already by the time you read this. Sadly this is the nature of the beast with these sorts of offers, they don't last long
- Vouchers – There are vouchers for Amazon, Argon, Tesco or Marks & Spencer spread about the other providers. As before, these offers may have changed since the time of writing
Should you get broadband on Black Friday?
This comes down to a few different questions. To answer this question for yourself, we recommend you think about…
- Where you are in your current contract – It's never going to be worth dumping your existing provider before your contract has expired. A few quid to spend at Marks & Spencer is never going to offset your early exit fees
- How patient you are – If you're not champing at the bit to jump ship, patience does pay. The best deals are got through return visits to Cable.co.uk, monitoring out comparison tables for the best deals as and when they appear
- If you have provider aversion – A lot of people have bad experiences with a certain provider that are enough to put them off for a lifetime. This will obviously have an impact on how tempted you might be to sign up to certain Black Friday deals
Frequently asked questions
Are Black Friday broadband deals the best deals of the year?
Sometimes they are, often they aren't. Big providers often reserve their offer budget till the end of their financial year. That's the time when 'crazy' deals can often crop up offering hundreds of pounds cashback to sign up. Black Friday is a good time to buy if you just want to guarantee you get a little something extra however.
Can I spend Black Friday broadband cashback anywhere?
Depends. If it's earmarked as 'cashback' or a 'reward card' this is basically the same thing – usually a pre-paid Mastercard, with an amount on it your can spend anywhere that takes Mastercard. If it's marked with the name of a retailer such as Amazon, though – Amazon is the only place you will be able to spend it.
Will I automatically get my cashback, vouchers or gifts?
No. And this is very important. You will usually not be able to claim your cashback until after your cancellation period. Your provider wants to be certain you are going to be around for the length of the contract before lavishing you with cashback, vouchers and gifts. What's more, our rewards are not going to simply arrive in the post without your input nine times out of ten. Providers want you to remember to claim it yourself. Why? Well, because a lot of people forget, and that suits the provider just fine.
Can I get a Black Friday broadband deal on other days than just Friday?
Yes. Usually Black Friday broadband deals can start anywhere from the previous weekend and end anywhere up to the weekend of the week after Black Friday – week of Cyber Monday. Plus, offers can change and morph across this period, so it's worth keeping a constant eye on.
Do broadband providers offer the same Black Friday deals every year?
No. Usually these deals are specifically formulated to offer something that other providers don't. After all, if everyone offers £50 of Amazon vouchers, then why choose one provider over another. There will usually be a rainbow of different types of offer available.