Utility Warehouse broadband review 2022
By Dan Howdle | Friday, June 24th 2022
Utility Warehouse specialises in being a one-stop shop for all your services – broadband, gas, electric, insurance and mobile. In 2021, Utility Warehouse added full fibre broadband to their lineup, giving customers access to faster speeds of 100Mbps and beyond. But is there actually money to be saved here? We take a look at its broadband and phone deals to see where it sits in the market alongside other broadband providers.
|Average download speeds
|11Mbps, 35Mbps, 63Mbps, 100Mbps, 500Mbps
|Average upload speeds
|1Mbps, 9Mbps, 18Mbps, 50Mbps
|ADSL, fibre, full fibre
It feels a little odd just talking about broadband when it comes to Utility Warehouse. After all, its main selling point is that you can bundle up all your services – gas, electric, mobile, broadband, insurance and phone – into a single provider with a single monthly payment. Separate broadband out on its own, and to be perfectly frank, although they recently added full fibre services to their limited lineup, there's not an awful lot to write home about.
Utility Warehouse broadband operates on the Openreach network, which is the same physical network (wires, exchanges and cabinets) as all other providers except for Virgin Media broadband, which runs its own. As such, there's little if anything to choose between Utility Warehouse and all the other providers on the same network when it comes to the speeds offered.
What we have then are ADSL broadband (named Standard Broadband here) averaging 11Mbps, entry-level fibre (Ultra Fibre Broadband) averaging 35Mbps, and a faster fibre package (Ultra Plus Fibre Broadband) averaging 63Mbps. There is nothing particularly noteworthy here beyond the price of these basic services which, when you factor the cost of the phone line, are single-handedly the most expensive prices for these speeds in the entire country at the time of writing.
Utility Warehouse recently started offering full fibre services in addition to their basic broadband services.These packages are called Full Fibre 100 and Full Fibre 500, with average download speeds of up to 100Mbps and 500Mbps respectively, though they aren’t widely available throughout the UK, and often they aren’t as cheap as other broadband providers on the Openreach network.
Contracts are all 18 months in length, which is not unusual for broadband and phone. However, if you were looking for something that ties you in for a shorter period, there are plenty of alternatives to choose from.
Again, what you have here are the bog-standard upload speeds you'll find on any other provider on the Openreach network (everyone else bar Virgin Media). That is 1Mbps, 9Mbps, 18Mbps, 50Mbps respectively to four of the five broadband packages Utility Warehouse offers (upload speeds for Full Fibre 500 aren't published anywhere).
Generally speaking, most people don't bump up against the limitations of their upload speed very often, since there are comparatively few things you might be doing that use upload. Practically everything you do on the internet, from surfing to social media to streaming and more – all of it uses download.
Deals and offers
At the time of writing, Utility Warehouse was offering no special deals for signing up just to broadband beyond the accoutrements it offers on a full-time, ongoing basis such as money towards buying out your old contract and a promise to beat the Government's energy price cap calculation by up to 5%. Utility Warehouse does offer a small discount on broadband services if you also sign up for mobile. For customers who moved all of their services over to Utility Warehouse before April 2021 and signed up for their Daffodil service, however, it offers to replace all the old-style light bulbs in your house with long-lasting energy savers for free, though it’s no longer available to new customers.
£50 Bill CreditM125 Fibre Broadband
- 132Mb average speed +
- Unlimited usage +
- No phone line
£26.50 per month(prices may change during contract)£50 Bill Credit£0 one-off cost18 month contractVisit Nowthis deal is anOnline exclusive
- £50 Bill Credit
- No 2024 Price Rise
£50 Reward CardFibre 1
- 50Mb average speed +
- Unlimited usage +
- No phone line
£29.99 per month(increases on the 31st March 2025 by CPI +3.9%)£50 Reward Card£11.99 one-off cost24 month contractVisit Nowthis deal is anOnline exclusive
- £50 Virtual Reward Card
£27.00 per month(prices may change during contract)£5 one-off cost18 month contract
- 61Mb average speed +
- Unlimited usage +
- PAYG calls
Router and installation
The situation with routers on Utility Warehouse is somewhat bizarre. Prior to January, 2022, there were three different routers available (Value Router, Premium Router and Super Router), and you could only get one of them for free (the value router). Utility Warehouse would charge you extra per month for any router other than the most basic – a cheap Technicolour model that's would really only serve your needs if you were opting for the ADSL package.
For anyone who signed up to Utility Warehouse’s broadband services after 17 January, 2022, you’ll now get their UW Wi-Fi Hub as standard, though you’ll have to pay for shipping costs. Customers who joined prior to 17 January 2022, can call to upgrade to a UW Wi-Fi Hub router at any time, but again you’ll be charged for shipping costs, and you’ll have to bear the cost of returning your old router as well.
In general, Utility Warehouse isn't forthcoming on the actual specifications of any of these routers, but we would be hard-pressed to believe that its top router is better than that supplied as standard with any BT, Virgin Media or Sky Broadband deal. Utility Warehouse is the only provider we have ever come across that ever charged customers extra money each month just to have a capable router. It's quite shocking, actually.
As with any provider on the Openreach network, it'll take about two weeks to get your Utility Warehouse broadband and phone installed, though this can take a bit longer and indeed incur additional costs if you don't have an existing phone line at your property.
During the period between signing up and getting up and running, Utility Warehouse will send you your new router so you have it ready for activation day. You won't need to contact your existing provider, as Utility Warehouse will take care of that for you. However, if you are currently a Virgin Media customer, you will need to contact them and cancel your existing service after you sign up to Utility Warehouse.
Once you're set up, if you're not happy with the service you're getting, you can cancel any time within the first 14 days without charge. This is called the cooling-off period. As with any provider, you may struggle to recoup any costs incurred by the provider in initially providing you with the service, such as the postal charge for your router, for example. And you will have to return any equipment provided to you. If you wish to cancel after the cooling-off period on any other basis than extended and unsolved broadband service/supply issues, you will have to pay cancellation charges.
Utility Warehouse simply isn't a large enough provider to feature in Ofcom's yearly customer service ratings. Instead we must turn to Trustpilot – where customers write reviews of the company – to get a sense of how it does on a customer service level.
Utility Warehouse gets four stars out of five, so a lot of positive reviews. It's hard to get a handle on how it does specifically on broadband, since many of those writing reviews of the company have taken out multiple services. Those that did have an issue often complained of the amount of time they had to wait on hold when there was some sort of problem with their service or bill. Hardly the worst crime!
It's also worth bearing in mind that most providers do pretty poorly on Trustpilot, since such things have a habit of drawing more negative reviews than positive. People with an axe to grind are more inclined to go online and write a review. Four out of five stars is actually pretty impressive with that in mind.
Our final verdict
- Award-winning provider
- All your bills in one place
- Potential savings on consolidated services
- Less flexible than multiple providers
- Incredibly expensive for broadband and phone
- Full fibre isn’t widely available
On the plus side, Utility Warehouse has won multiple awards – some from the likes of Which? and Moneywise. The ability to get all your bills from a single provider is going to appeal to many, though no one can argue your options become far less flexible in doing so. If you sign up for get broadband from Utility Warehouse along with your mobile service you’ll receive a small discount on your broadband tariff.
However, if you're not going to take out multiple services and intend to only use Utility Warehouse as a broadband provider, you're going to find the same service a lot cheaper elsewhere, and you might even find faster speeds for the same cost or less.
Does Utility Warehouse make sense? Yes, if you're going to bundle everything. But not so much sense if all you're interested in is broadband and phone. There are options out there that are cheaper, faster and all-round better.