Which Broadband Services in The UK Don’t Require a Direct Debit?

broadband-servicesAny company that offers a service which is paid for monthly usually prefer to be paid through direct debit. In fact most broadband providers will insist on a direct debit. The real question is which broadband providers do not require this? There are a number of providers who offer some form of alternative payment through cheque, cash and credit card. However, while the option is there these alternatives often cost more in the long run.

Which broadband should you choose?

Even though the payment method is the deciding factor on choosing which broadband you get there are other factors to look at as well. You should not compromise broadband speed and reliability for an alternative payment option. Many of the providers who have alternative payments will offer packages which have good speeds. However, there are other providers who compromise on the speed and reliability to give the alternative payment options.

Why would you want to avoid direct debits?

Most people view direct debits as a tool which makes their lives easier but there are other people who do not feel this way. Direct debits are deducted from your bank account on a specified day. The problem is that many people do not have the money in their bank at that point. Additionally the commitment to a specific day does not work well for some people as the day is generally not chosen by the person. If a direct debit comes through on an account but there are insufficient funds this can lead to account fees.

Another reason why some people wish to steer clear of direct debit has to do with personal information safety. For a direct debit to be set up you will have to provide the company with you bank details. Your details are then on the company's system which can often be accessed by any employee. Many people do not feel comfortable with sharing this kind of information.

The Post Office

When looking at which broadband providers offer alternative payments the Post Office is probably the best. The Post Office is in fact the only provider which allows their customers to pay for the service in cash without adding on other charges. Payments can be made at the Post Office counters. This makes payment easy and simple. The Post Office is perhaps the best option for anyone on a very tight budget. Some of the other ways that this provider accepts payments is via cheque and credit card. If you wished to at some point you can change to direct debit as this is also an option.


BT offers its customers a range of payment methods other than direct debit. Credit cards can be used to pay for a single bill and this can be done over the phone or using their online payment gateway. Cheques and cash can be used for single bills via PayPoints which are located in garages and a number of shops. The one problem with using alternative payments with BT is that there is an extra fee for the processing of the payment. It has been reported that you may be able to pay your bill via bank transfer but this will need to be verified with both BT and your bank.

Virgin Media

For the payment of individual bills Virgin Media does accept alternative payment aside from direct debits. These alternatives include credit cards, cheques and cash. When using a credit card you will need to have the payment processed over the phone or through the Virgin Media online payment gateway. Cash and cheques will have to be brought to a PayPoint outlet. These outlets can be found by a yellow sign which is placed outside of stores which have them. When using alternative methods with this provider you need to understand that it will cost you extra. In fact the extra amount can be so considerable that you may want to simply use direct debit.


The alternative methods offered by TalkTalk include cheques, credit cards and bank transfers. It is not possible to pay your bill using cash with this provider. Credit card payments will need to be completed via online payment gateway or over the phone. Cheque payments with this provider are not common as the cheque will need to be sent to the provider in the post. If you do choose this method the cheque need to be payable to TalkTalk Telecom LTD and your account number must be written on the back. Bank transfer will need to be cleared with your bank and you will have to get the details from the provider as well. There is no cash option with this provider. All transactions which are not done through direct debit will carry an extra charge.


Sky is unlike other providers as the only alternative payment methods accepted are debit and credit card payments. These payments can be made over the phone or through the Sky payment gateway accessible through the website. Surcharges will be added to any payment not done through direct debit.


Plusnet will allow their clients to pay through credit and debit cards as well as cheques if direct debit is not used. Card payments will be done through online payment methods and can be completed over the phone. Cheques with this provider work differently than with other providers. If cheques are going to be used they are only allowed for quarterly payments of the overall annual amounts. All of these payments will have an extra fee added to them.


Monthly payments with EE can be made via debit and credit cards. Like most providers it is possible to pay with these cards over the phone and through online gateways. All payments which are not from a direct debit will carry a surcharge.

Finding which broadband providers allow payment through alternative means is not as hard as it may seem. Most providers accept debit and credit card payments for the monthly charge. However, every provider will charge an additional levy on these payment types.

Published on behalf of Mr. Phil Turner. He struggled to decide which broadband deal to choose when he was looking to upgrade. Online price comparison websites like uSwitch helped to make the decision easier.

One Comment

  1. The above comments about plus-net allowing ‘payment by cheque’ does not tally with what they (plus-net) have advised me this last weekend – twice in fact!! They say they do NOT accept payment for broadband by cheque. Only Direct Debit or Credit Card. NOT EVEN WHEN WE OFFERED TO PAY IN ADVANCE!!! Shame on them.


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