The Fixer: big broadband bills

Jess Bown
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%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%Have you been left out of pocket due to poor service or sharp practice? Do you have a money problem that won't go away?

It can seem impossible to get a fair result when you are battling a financial issue alone. But never fear! The AOL Money Fixer is here to help.

Dear Fixer,
I get my internet connection via a broadband contract with BT. However, since my teenage son moved back in with me a few months ago, my bills have gone through the roof.

I have just checked the latest one and it says that the high charges are because we are exceeding our download limit.

What does this mean? And what can I do to get my bills back down to a reasonable level?

I don't want to stop my son using the internet as it is tough for him moving to a new area, but I would like to cut the cost of our broadband if possible.

J Lamb, Oxford

Dear Mrs Lamb,

A download limit does exactly what it says on the tin. In other words, it gives you a set amount of data to use each month.

The data included in this amount includes everything from emails viewed to films streamed and online games played.

The reason you have been receiving such big bills is that your household's internet usage has changed significantly since your son moved back in.

Your contract, which is designed for a "light user" who only uses the internet to reply to the odd email or browse the web and only allows you to download up to 2 gigabytes of data, is simply not up to the job.

And the extra data being downloaded by your son is being charged on top of your monthly tariff.

Fortunately, you can put an end to these huge bills by switching to a new deal with BT offering either a higher download limit or unlimited downloads.

If your son simply downloads films and Skypes his friends, for example, then a contract offering 20 GB of data per month should be sufficient.

However, if he is into online gaming, you will probably be better opting for an unlimited deal. BT should also be able to advise you based on your household's internet usage over the past few months.

The Fixer

Whatever your financial problem, write to themoneyfixer@aim.com and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.