Will you be hit by the Virgin Media price hike?
Virgin Media made the announcement on the same day the government announced a third national lockdown, meaning millions of people will be working from home for the next few months.
The latest price hike from Virgin Media affects all UK cable customers – those with broadband, TV and fixed line phone contracts – who joined Virgin Media before 29 June 2020.
Customers who took out a Virgin Media contract after this date are not affected as they already pay the provider’s latest prices.
Customers considered ‘vulnerable’, including those on Virgin Media’s Essential broadband package for people receiving Universal Credit, and its ‘Talk Protected’ landline deal, won’t be affected by the price increases.
Virgin Media hasn’t put an exact figure on the number of households which will be affected by the price hikes, but admitted it would be ‘millions’.
How much will my bill go up by?
How much extra you’ll pay depends on the exact broadband bundle you have.
Most bills will rise by between £2.50 and £4.50 a month (£30 to £54 a year). Virgin Media says the average increase is 4% which equates to £3.63 a month or £43.56 a year.
Customers on rolling contracts will see their bill go up from 1 March 2021, while people still within their minimum term will be affected once their promotional period ends.
Virgin Media says it’s currently writing to customers to inform them of the price hikes.
How you I leave Virgin Media penalty-free?
Rules set by the regulator Ofcom mean that customers can leave mobile, landline or broadband contracts penalty-free if a provider ups prices mid-term and the increase is bigger than the RPI rate. RPI currently stands at 0.9%.
If you face a bigger price increase than this, you can cancel your contract and switch to another provider, as long as you do so within 30 days of being told about the price increase.
A Virgin Media spokesperson said: “Through continued investment, improvement and innovation we’re committed to providing great value and a top service for our customers.
“Over the last year our customers have used their connectivity more than ever before, with data use increasing at the fastest rate we’ve ever seen. We’re already investing more than £1bn in our network each year and consistently give our customers more megabits for their money, but to help meet this demand we do sometimes need to review our prices.
“Changing prices is never an easy decision, which is why, unlike other providers, this is our first cable price change in 18 months. We are currently writing to cable customers to transparently communicate these changes and we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure we deliver for our customers and keep them connected at a time when it has never been more important.”