Direct Save Telecom explained
By Dan Howdle | Tuesday, March 26th 2019
In this guide
- Who is Direct Save Telecom?
- What does Direct Save offer?
- Broadband and TV bundles
- Landline calling packages
- What are the alternatives?
- Frequently asked questions
Broadband in the UK runs the full range from budget to premium. At the high end, you have providers like Virgin Media, which offers the fastest speeds and some of the best equipment to go with it. At the other, you have the likes of Direct Save Telecom, which aims to offer decent broadband, with a strong focus on keeping prices as low as possible, and without credit checks.
Direct Save provides strong evidence, then, that 'cheap' and 'value for money' are not the same thing. But just who is Direct Save Telecom and what exactly does it offer?
Who is Direct Save Telecom?
Direct Save Telecom is a British-owned independent provider of broadband and telephone services. It's been around since 1999 would you believe, and puts a strong focus on delivering value for money, especially to those who may be enduring financial hardship. Here are its main selling points.
- Cheap, cheap broadband – If not the absolute cheapest broadband at the time you happen to compare broadband prices, it will certainly be found way down at the cheaper end of the table. Direct Save offers both ADSL and fibre broadband deals which come with a landline
- No credit checks – This is likely to be a huge selling point for many. You can get a deal from Direct Save Telecom without having your credit history looked into. Most of us have experienced times in our lives during which we've suffered financial hardship, so it's good to know companies like Direct Save are there to keep us all afloat
- Low cost landline calls – If you opt for a regular pay as you go landline package to go with your broadband, calls will be a couple of pennies per minute cheaper than BT. Direct Save also currently claims the UK's cheapest line rental and some of the cheapest call plans
- Discount club – Being a customer of Direct Save means you'll have access to its 'discount club'. It's basically a large collection of companies offering discounts to use them. It may save you money if you were planning to buy from them anyway, but the fact that many of these brands are medium to premium in nature, means you could in most cases save more money by choosing a different supplier or seller
- Broadband without a contract – You'll have to pay an upfront/set-up cost and the monthly cost is higher, but Direct Save Telecom is one of only a handful of providers to offer one-month rolling contracts that won't tie you in
What does Direct Save Telecom offer?
You won't see any TV packages, mobile deals, SIMs, tablets, gadgets or anything else offered additionally by premium telecoms providers such as Sky, BT and Virgin Media. What you will get, though, is broadband and phone, and you'll get it cheap.
- Broadband – Direct Save offers both ADSL and fibre broadband deals, the former with an average download speed of 11Mbps, and the latter being offered at two different speeds: Average of 63Mbps and average of 35Mbps
- Home phone – You can get a home phone and/or calling package from Direct Save on its own if you like, though if you're getting broadband you won't have a choice. You'll have to have a Direct Save landline. This is pretty much standard practice in the industry. Direct Save offers three calling plans: Pay as you go, free UK evening and weekend calls or free UK anytime calls
Broadband, TV and mobile bundles
What are the alternatives?
- BT – BT offers pretty much anything you might what when it comes to telecoms services. Broadband and phone, sure, but also mobile phones, SIMs, and TV packages in the form of BT TV (and the much sought-after BT Sport). BT broadband is offered at similar speeds to Direct Save, though if you're very lucky in the postcode lottery, it can be substantially higher
- EE Broadband – Now owned by BT, EE offers your standard fare of one ADSL package averaging around 10Mbps and two fibre deals averaging 36Mbps and 67Mbps. EE also offers a mostly-Freeview TV box if you're in the market for it, and of course any number of SIMs mobiles and tablets
- Shell Energy Broadband (formerly First Utility) – Having bought First Utility as an energy provider, Shell (of petrol station fame) has rebranded it 'Shell Energy'. Puzzlingly, it has called its broadband offering Shell Energy Broadband, rather than just Shell Broadband. Anyhow, it offers the same speeds as EE (above), but does not offer TV or mobile
- Hyperoptic – Offers broadband speeds up to a crazy 1000Mbps (1Gbps). However, not a lot really makes use of speeds that fast, and Hyperoptic is only available to a tiny percentage of UK properties. Great if you can get it, but it's unlikely
- John Lewis Broadband – Is it possible to have a prestige broadband brand? John Lewis thinks so, which is why you'll pay a bit more for a service that really isn't any better. If you're brand loyal, though, its broadband is as good as anyone else's, with ADSL and fibre packages at speeds averaging 10Mbps, 36Mbps and 66Mbps
- NOW Broadband – Part of the NOW TV brand owned and run by Sky, NOW broadband offers the the same sort of speeds as listed above. Like Direct Save Telecom, NOW Broadband won't do any credit checks, and you'll get discounted access to NOW TV with some bundles
- Plusnet – Is owned by BT, and very proud of its Yorkshire roots. It offers broadband and phone packages at the same speeds as its competitors. Its big selling point is the number of awards it frequently wins for its customer service. Plusnet customer love being Plusnet customers. You can also get Plusnet TV, a mainly Freeview affair, but with its own set-top box and access to some premium channels
- Post Office Broadband – Is aimed at older people, and those who want to keep things as straightforward as possible. That is the Post Office brand in a nutshell, after all. Its speeds are no different to others mentioned above and it's frequently among the cheapest providers in the UK
- Sky – Who hasn't heard of Sky? With Sky broadband you'll get the aforementioned ADSL and fibre speeds, as well as the potential to add on Sky's market-leading TV service. You can also add SIMs from Sky Mobile
- SSE – Formerly an energy provider, now also a broadband provider, again, speeds are the same as the majority, with SSE selling itself primarily on its low, low prices
- TalkTalk – Of the 'big four' (the four providers with the most customers, the others being Sky, Virgin Media and BT), TalkTalk is the one that claims to be a budget provider. And, fair enough, it is usually the cheapest of those providers. TalkTalk also offers a TV service, TalkTalk TV, which is mostly Freeview, but only to its broadband customers
- Virgin Media – With speeds of between 54Mbps and 362Mbps, Virgin Media offers the UK's fastest, and arguably best, widely available broadband. While not cheap, it is competitively priced, and you'll have the option to add on Virgin TV and/or Virgin Mobile SIMs
- Vodafone – Like EE, Vodafone is a mobile provider dipping its toe into the broadband market. And it's doing a great job. Vodafone broadband is keenly priced and comes with high-quality equipment and customer service
Frequently asked questions
Can I keep my telephone number?
Yes. As with all broadband providers, when you switch your number will switch with you.
How much does it cost to switch to Direct Save Telecom?
Both broadband and fibre broadband packages from Direct Save Telecom have no set-up fee, unless you are signing up to a one month rolling contract. In which case you will be charged an upfront fee.
Are there any credit checks with Direct Save Telecom?
No. Direct Save Telecom will not perform any sort of credit check should you sign up. This means it will accept literally anyone as a customer.
Can I get broadband without a contract with Direct Save Telecom?
Yes. Direct Save offers one-month, no-commitment broadband contracts. However, where there are no upfront costs with its 12-month contracted deals, its no-contract broadband will charge you an upfront fee. The amount you pay per month will also be greater on a one-month contract.
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