Are you a Virgin Media customer looking for a better deal following their price hike announcement?
Virgin have announced that on the first of March they will be increasing the prices of their broadband packages across the board, affecting people both in current contracts and those who have been with Virgin for more than 18 months and continue to pay their legacy pricing.
If you’re in a contract reports suggest that you could end up paying £56 per year more for your data, while those who never changed after their contract expired could face increases of up to 45% depending on what package they were on when they were in contract.
Virgin put a price freeze on their broadband prices in 2020 to help people adjusting to Coronavirus as we all needed to use broadband for work, school, entertainment and news, but this increase is the second since then. Because Virgin doesn’t have an annual price increase clause in its contract there is a way out if you’re affected by those price increases and you’re not happy. Virgin are giving their customers until February (some reports say the fifteenth, some the eighteenth, so we’d suggest acting before the fifteenth to be on the safe side) to cancel their contract without incurring a cancellation fee.
It’s not just Virgin broadband customers who are being affected by the price increases. The fees are being increased on Virgin Media, TV and home phone bills too. There are a very few exceptions, including people on the Virgin Media Essential package which is available to people who are in receipt of financial support, such as Universal Credit, people on packages which don’t rely on Virgin’s cable network, and Talk Protected landline customers. If you’re not in any of those groups you could call Virgin and try to renegotiate your deal, or you could take advantage of that notice period to shop around for better deals from other broadband providers.
Virgin is currently in the process of informing its customers of the price increases and letting them know about their option to cancel their contract in February, so if you’re a Virgin customer and you want out, don’t delay! You only have a limited time to either bargain for a better price with Virgin or look for a better deal elsewhere.
A statement from Virgin Media said: “While we recognise a price change is never welcome, with rising costs and our customers using their services more than ever, we are reviewing our pricing to fuel further investment in our network and services, both now and in the future.
“We’re committed to providing brilliant services and excellent overall value, and consistently give our customers more for their money than anyone else.”
What can Virgin Media customers do next?
If you are a virgin broadband customer and you haven’t received notification of how much you’ll have to pay from the first of March you can either wait to be informed of the price rise and get in touch with Virgin to renegotiate or cancel, or if you’d prefer not to wait you can contact them directly by calling them or using live chat on their website or calling 150 from your Virgin phone. If you don’t have a Virgin phone with your broadband package you can call them on 0800 052 2001 from any other phone.
Because other providers include an annual price increase in their contract it’s harder for customers of BT, PlusNet or EE to get out of their contract unless the price hike is so large that it could be considered “unreasonable”, which is when consumer protection laws come into play. If you’re a customer of theirs and you are faced with an unreasonable price rise you have 30 days to change without facing a cancellation fee, thanks to consumer protection legislation. However, since Virgin doesn’t have that annual price increase clause in the contract their customers sign, Virgin customers are able to leave prior to the increase coming into effect without incurring any penalty fees.
What if you miss the deadline?
If you fail to find a better deal before the fifteenth of February you could try to negotiate the price rise. A tweet we saw said that they had called in to cancel and the price rise was immediately dropped for them, so it is worth calling.
However, if you look at tweets with the hashtag #virginmedia you’ll find a slew of complaints ranging from terrible customer service, long waits for engineers, slow internet connection, and all the other problems you’d expect from a huge multinational company which has more customers than it can possibly deal with using a personal touch.
So, if you’re one of the many people who live in the Briant Broadband coverage area, why should you switch to us?
Briant Broadband is a local company which offers “good old fashioned customer service” alongside amazing wireless and fibre broadband speeds. We don’t hold our customers into a contract, instead we offer a flexible service you can increase, decrease, or even pause if you’re leaving the area for a period of time, and we don’t insist you take out additional line rental either. Our engineers are all local so we know the area and we can be with you quickly for fast installation or repairs. And we invite you to challenge us; if we can’t get you up and running within 48 hours then you get a month’s broadband data for free.