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Broadband ISP Shell Energy UK Switches to 12 Month Contracts

Wednesday, Nov 8th, 2023 (9:27 am) - Score 1,760

Customers of broadband and energy provider Shell Energy, which is in the process of being acquired by the Octopus Energy Group (here), recently launched its own set of Black Friday discounts and at the same time scrapped their 18-month minimum term contracts in favour of a softer 12-month term.

The question of whether or not it’s better to have a 12, 18 or 24 month term often depends upon your perspective. A longer term is handy when it enables you to lock in a lower price for longer, while a short term is better if you prefer more flexibility, such as in the case of a bad experience with the provider or because you like to switch ISP more often. In Shell’s case, the decision to adopt a 12-month term is perhaps more favourable to consumers, which is due to their adoption of annual price hikes (CPI + 3%) to replace fixed term pricing.

NOTE: The latest discounts will remain available until at least 19th November 2023. All of Shell Energy’s packages are sold via Openreach’s national ADSL, FTTC and FTTP broadband network.

In terms of the new discounts. Prices now start at £17.99 per month for 12 months (£31.03 thereafter) on their entry-level 11Mbps package and go up to just £45.99 (£65.24 thereafter) for their top 944Mbps plan. Almost all of their packages, except the 11Mbps (ADSL) tier, also come bundled alongside their new Wi-Fi 6 router. Service activation is also free.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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18 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Phil says:

    Well done, hat off for shorter contract 12 months is fairer. Other ISPs such as Virgin Media, Plusnet, EE, BT, Sky, TalkTalk should be ashamed of themselves for 18 to 24 months contract.

  2. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

    Well done for the 12 months contract, but they are not giving the choice for new customers to go to FTTC if there is FTTP available. Not sure if they would if the person entered a phone number, but I doubt it.

    24 months is far too long, certainly now with the prices being increased each year.

    1. Avatar photo Danny says:

      Why would you want FTTC if there was FTTP available? FTTP is superior in every single way.

    2. Avatar photo Ryan says:

      FTTP is superior, the only reason I can think of that someone might prefer having FTTC is no engineer visit to run the fibre to household.

    3. Avatar photo Scott says:

      Don’t Openreach prevent the provision of FTTC if a premises can get FTTP?

    4. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      Some people are happy with the speed they are getting and yes I know that it is possible to get the same speed on FTTC, but what is the point of going through the hassle for the same thing? the other problem is, some people live in rented accommodation so are not allowed to have FTTP or there may be some other reason they can’t.

    5. Avatar photo Matt says:

      always here to bring cheer Ad.

      80/20 over FTTP is far superior to 80/20 FTTC. Lower latency, less likely to have intermittency, fault resolution, able to regrade to a quicker speed easily if needs change etc. etc.

      As mentioned to you elsewhere, ISPs are incentivized to use FTTP over other tech. You complain not enough is done but you refuse to move to the newer product as its “not necessary” – but will keep hitting BT with the “you dont do enough fast enough!” stick.

      like cmon man, pick a lane.

    6. Avatar photo Blueacid says:

      “but what is the point of going through the hassle for the same thing?”

      Because it is not the same thing.
      In 6 months, degredation of the copper pair might heavily curtail the available speed. Calls to customer care, calls to engineers, these all cost money. Avoidable with FTTP.

      In the case of the landlord; if you can’t get broadband _other_ than via FTTP then that’ll be a stern call to the letting agent then.

    7. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      I have already moved over to FTTP, but not Openreach, Not sure what you mean about me hitting BT with the “you don’t do fast enough stick”. I say about the difference in the upload and download speed, as the Openreach network don’t have symmetrical. I am certainly not worried about the speed, I was willing to stay on FTTC at 36Mb/s if I could at a decent price.

      Able to regrade to a quicker speed easily, that is one of the reasons they are pushing FTTP, to upsell, easier to upsell higher speeds with FTTP. I know someone who already have had the emails from their provider, for an extra £5 a month you can get speed twice as fast or something like that. They are on the lowest speed possible on FTTP. They have now changed their marketing preferences, but if it will do any good is another thing.

      I am in the group that if a product is doing what I need, then why update to something that may cause hassle or costs more? I am not one of these people that need the fastest, most expensive thing out there, even if I had a load of money.
      when I got my Mac, I could have gone for something higher end with a load of memory, super-duper fast CPU and loads of storage space, but I did not. I got something that does what I need, The same as my phone, a cheap Oppo phone, that I will keep for as long as it lasts.

      If Plusnet had offered me FTTC at more or less the same prices I was paying, on an 18-month contract I would have taken it, but they decided to try to push me to FTTP for a higher price, even for the same speed and a 24-month contract. They did offer me something when it was too late. FTC, 18 month contract for £26, I would have taken that if they offered it to me in the first place.

      I realise that, ISPs are incentivised to use FTTP, but they have that there are people who have no need for it and don’t want the hassle of having it installed. I myself am fed up with being pushed to do this and do that, Like in supermarkets when they push their cards onto people and push us to use self scan and silly handsets. All I want to do is go in and do my shopping,

  3. Avatar photo Ian says:

    Agreed – 12 month fixed price is fair to both sides… It’s very hard to know what’s ahead in 24 month contracts – especially if you rent or hope to move in the near future.
    There are others offering 12 month or shorter contracts which you pay more for – it is those that only seem to offer the 24 months contracts with price rises each April and cancellation charges – they are obviously trying to lock you in and hope you’ll roll over to even higher prices at the end of your contract! You obviously have a choice but it feels like exploitation by the big players.

  4. Avatar photo Fibre Scriber says:

    @Ad47uk. When an exchange area has 75% capability to receive FTTP, then ADSL and FTTC are no longer available to a customer. This may be what you have found when checking out the Shell Broadband 12 month contracts, if you are in such an area. I wholeheartedly agree it’s good to see a Broadband company move away from fixed long term contracts, albeit Shell not having the best customer satisfaction.

    1. Avatar photo Alex A says:

      They have to only sell FTTP if its available as well to qualify for Equinox price discounts.

      And FTTP being a brand new network reduces the load on support, I’ve had random issues with FTTC before due to the copper just being old.

    2. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      Our exchange is not there and even if it was, it is another year after that they stop selling FTTC. some ISPs are just jumping the gun, I expect because they can upsell on FTTP, something they can’t do on FTTC for most people

    3. Avatar photo Blueacid says:

      There are apparently discounts / incentives from Openreach for signing up customers to FTTP and not FTTC where both are available.
      Makes fairly straightforward business sense to take advantage of these!

  5. Avatar photo bob says:

    If they’re offering a fixed price this is just a way for them to be able to increase prices more quickly.

    1. Avatar photo Anonymous says:

      Was thinking the same thing. From what I recall their out of contract prices were atrocious, around double in some cases. Really trying to bank on those who won’t switch/re-negotiate.

  6. Avatar photo Raj says:

    I mean, people criticise long contracts but working in sales, it turns out the customer wants “stronger and longer”. They prefer something they can “set and forget”.

    Even I was critical of long 24mth contracts but my thoughts were clearly not in line with the wants of the average customer.

    Where I work, our deals are fixed price throughout the length of the contract (no CPI/RPI increase). It seems people got stung badly with the April price increases and would rather “lock in” a longer contract without price increases, instead of taking shorter contracts.

    Bear in mind, this is just my experience in mobile/telecoms. Broadband could be a completely different story.

Comments are closed

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