They subscribe to Virgin's Full House 500 package, which includes more than 100 TV channels and 500Mb broadband, and for which they pay €109 a month (normally €99 a month, but they have an extra point). There is currently an introductory rate of €65 for the first 12 months for new customers.
Of all the insurances we buy (house, car, gadget etc), life insurance is probably the one we are least likely to switch. This is because we buy it only once or twice in our lives, and it's often attached to the mortgage or pension, so we don't think we can move it to another company, but actually it's the rare bird in the insurance world: rates have been dropping steadily over the years as life expectancy has increased.
Before we look at the actual deals involved, a word of caution about sale prices you're probably seeing as you read this. In many cases, hyped-up discounts are theoretical, based on an 'RRP' price that was never actually in place in the store. I recently wrote about a TV that had been stocked by a major Irish retailer for €419. The retailer then put it on sale for €399 while claiming that the "saving" was €230. Despite only actually reducing it by €20 the retailer insisted that it was legitimate to describe the "saving" in this way because €630 had been the 'recommended retail price' (RRP) advised by the manufacturer for that model when it was first launched.
A big chunk of many household budgets goes towards paying for broadband, TV and home phone services. With so many plan types and deals on the market offering so many different kinds of services and packages, there is really no need to be paying over the odds for this service.
Averil Larke from Celbridge in Kildare is a 54-year-old driver with a clean record and no claims against her, so when her then insurance broker, the AA, quoted her a premium of €968 on a 161 registration Peugeot 308 diesel car, she felt that it was time to look around.
For Elaine Cassells of Rathfarnham in Dublin, the decision to change TV and broadband provider was a straightforward one. A Virgin Media customer, she noticed that the TV set-top boxes originally provided by the company were developing problems so she needed to make contact anyway.
The good news for those looking at a new telly is that you get a lot more for less these days, writes Adrian Weckler. A decent, slim, 'full high definition' television now costs under €400, even for a 40-inch set.
This is the peak time for health-insurance renewals. Nearly 400,000 customers are due to renew this month and almost one million are renewing by the end of March. The good news is that the market has stabilised compared with previous years and there are excellent deals available from all three insurers to suit all consumer budgets.
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