- 28-day rolling contract
- Up to 24Mbps broadband where available
- Very competitive call rates
- Generous download allowances
- No router included
- No security software included
- £50 broadband leaving charge
- No free help on basic tier
DirectSave Telecom is a budget broadband and phone provider that’s also notable for offering 28-day rolling contracts where you can change the level of broadband or phone service at any time (although there’s a £50 charge if you leave the broadband service in the first 12 months).
They've also got the lowest-price broadband-and-phone bundle around, at £2.49/month plus line rental, for a two-year deal. That's less than £370 over two years.
The service uses BT Wholesale, Opal Telecom and other tier one carriers in the UK, and is adding ADSL2+ - which allows up to 24Mbps downloads - as it’s rolled out around the UK by BT Wholesale. Its standard modem/router hardware sold to customers are all ready for ADSL2+ unless you’ve been on the service for some time.
As a budget provider, it doesn’t offer any of the free extras like WiFi hotspots and security software, but you get a webmail account and there’s a free trial of online PC backup which gives you 500MB for 30 days. If you like it, it costs £4.50/month for 5GB and £5.75/month for 50GB.
Phone calls in particular are highly competitive against BT, particularly with the lack of a 12-month contract, and if you want to make international calls or use 0845 and 0870 numbers, DirectSave looks like a good deal.
DirectSave has recently added 24-hour UK-based telephone line and broadband faults teams to improve its quality of service.
DirectSave Telecom has three home broadband tiers: Basic, Family and Pro. They’re all advertised as up to 24Mbps, but it’s restricted to exchanges with ADSL2+, so the BT Wholesale speed checker should be used before signing up. Direct Save claims an impressive average speed of 13Mbps for its ADSL2+ customers.
The plans differ in both the amount you can download and the contention ratio - how many people are sharing the same connection - although only the download limits are published:
Basic costs £11.95/month and has a 20GB limit; Family is £16.95/month with a 60GB limit; Pro is £26.95 with a 100GB cap. If you go over your allowance on any tier, you’ll pay £5 per 5GB.
All plans also carry a £12.85 line rental charge with free UK weekend and evening calls, and a £24.95 setup fee. A wireless four-port router worth £35 is also included. There’s also an £8.95 delivery charge. If you're not on Diorect Save's network, there's a further £3/month charge.
All plans come with a free webmail account, spam filter and a static IP address, while Family and Pro subscribers get free customer service and 24-hour broadband support. There’s also a free trial of online PC backup which gives you 500MB for 30 days. If you like it, it costs £4.50/month for 5GB and £5.75/month for 50GB.
DirectSave’s standard 28-day rolling contract applies to its broadband service, but new customers should note that there’s a £50 disconnection fee if you leave them in the first 12 months, you must give 28 days’ notice to cancel.
The exception is its 24-month service: If you can handle being signed up to a two-year contract, the Basic package is available for £2.49/month with a free, four-port wireless router.
DirectSave’s phone services start with their £12.85 monthly line rental, which is cheaper than the £14.90 charged monthly by BT, and this includes free UK weekend calls.
Free UK weekend and evening calls cost £2.55/month, while anytime calls are £4.50/month. Calls outside your tariff cost 0.9p/min evenings and 5.5p/min daytime.
DirectSave has discounted rates for calls to mobile and international numbers. UK mobiles are charged at 10.95p/min daytime and 5p/min evenings, and there’s also a 10.9p charge for each chargeable call outside your free allowance. International call rates vary widely, and can be further reduced on the International Option Plan for £1.50/month.
The exception to this is the 24-month broadband-and-phone contract, which includes evening and weekend UK landline calls with its line rental. Daytime calls cost 7.5p/min, UK mobiles are 15p/min anytime, 0845/0870 calls cost 8p/min anytime, and the call setup charge is 13.1p for each chargeable call.
Free calls are limited to the first 60 minutes of each call, to numbers starting 01 and 02 (UK local and national), 0845 and 0870 (non-geographical numbers). There’s also a fair use policy on 0845 and 0870 calls, with 60-minute limit per call and a maximum 1,000 minutes or 150 calls a month. It also excludes indirect access numbers and dial-up internet access.
There’s no 12-month contract with DirectSave - it’s a 28-day rolling contract but you must give 28 days’ notice to cancel.
The only exception to this is if you’ve been cut off by another provider, you need a new phone line installing or you need a phone line re-activating. DirectSave doesn’t make credit checks, but it does require your first invoice paid in advance, and an 18-month contract.
If you need extra services on your phone account, they’re typically cheaper than BT. Call barring, call divert, call sign (an alternative ring tone), ring back, call waiting, caller ID, three-way calling, and call minder (voicemail) each cost £2.55/month. Choose-to-refuse (blocking the last number received) is £2.74/month and anonymous call rejection costs £3.40.
Direct Save Telecom User Reviews
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