While broadband providers would prefer you pay bills by direct debit, there are often alternative payment options available. Unfortunately, with the exception of the Post Office, they may end up costing you more than you like.
Find out if your provider lets you pay by cheque, credit card or in cash, and if they'll charge you for doing so.
Alternatives to direct debit
The Post Office (www.PostOffice.co.uk) is the only broadband provider that allows customers to pay their bills in cash without incurring additional charges. Customers can pay over the counter in branches, making it both simple, and a great solution for those on a tight budget. You can also pay by credit card, cheque, and of course, if you want to pay by direct debit you can do that too.
BT (www.BT.com) accepts individual bill payments by credit card (online and over the phone), cheque and cash (via PayPoint outlets in shops and garages). BT will charge a processing fee for not paying through direct debit. In some cases, you may be able to pay bills through bank transfers. You'll need to check with your bank and BT to see if this is possible.
Virgin Media (www.VirginMedia.com), also accepts credit card, cheque and cash payments for individual bills. Credit card payments can be made online or over the phone, and cash can either be paid at PayPoint outlets (look for the yellow sign on shops and petrol stations) or at the bank. Be aware that paying any other way than direct debit will cost you a considerable amount extra each year.
Plusnet (www.Plus.net) customers can pay using credit and debit cards, and also cheque. These methods will incur an extra fee, and cheques can only be used if you pay in quarterly of annual instalments.