The cost of living is going up, and there seems to be very little we can do about it. Energy providers are shutting down and making it almost impossible to shop around for other companies. There are gaps on the shelves of supermarkets as products and the ingredients necessary to make our own foods are stuck at borders, making food more expensive over-all, and now, to follow suit, all the big name broadband providers are hiking their prices too.
If you’re with Virgin you have the opportunity to quit your contract by 18th of February because they don’t have a clause in their broadband data contract with lets them put their prices up annually, meaning that one their price rises are announce they have to give their customers the chance to opt out.
If you’re with any of the other main broadband internet providers your options are rather more limited as they do have clauses in their contracts which allow them to increase how much you pay.
And if you’re affected by the price rises, you could face having to find a lot more for your broadband data. Depending on your provider and the contract you’re in, it could see your bill going up by more than 20%. That can be more than £50 per year for many users, users who, according to many comments on Facebook and Twitter are generally unhappy with the levels of reliability, customer service, and professionalism shown at many levels, including call centres, help desks, and engineers.
What Are Your Options?
Virgin are putting their prices up in March, and they’re giving their customers up until the 18th of February to either leave, or talk to someone about renegotiating their contract or finding a different package. Some people are saying that they just called and the increase was taken straight off, while others are complaining that it’s hard to get through on the phone for any reason.
If you’re with another broadband provider and you’re still in contract you don’t get the luxury of being able to simply walk away, as you’ll incur a penalty fee for cancelling your contract early. It may be possible to renegotiate your bill with them, or find another of their packages which suits your budget better. If you feel your service has been substandard while you’re in your current contract, then the price rise is all the more bitter. However, if you can get your provider to test the speeds that you’re receiving and they are appreciably less than the minimum promised in your contract, you may be able to talk your way out of the deal thanks to your consumer protection rights: any service you receive should be of satisfactory quality, as described, and fit for purpose. That means that if your broadband speed is not as fast as you were led to expect by sales and marketing, you could not only cancel the contract without incurring any penalties, but you may be entitled to compensation for the money you’ve already spent.
In a survey conducted by Which? customers who left their telecoms providers and found new deals saved on average £35 per year on their broadband, and £65 per year on broadband and TV deals, and consumers who moved away from large providers to smaller companies saved even more.
Amazing Savings To Be Made By Changing Your Data Provider
If you’re a broadband and TV customer you could make even more savings if you switch away from a big provider to another company. People leaving Virgin Media reported saving more than £200 per year, leaving Sky saved customers upwards of £180, TalkTalk £90, and BT £80.
Leaving your current data provider and finding a new deal isn’t the only solution though. You may be happy with the service you’ve received, or been disappointed with the service you’ve received from another provider and you’re reluctant to go back to them. In those circumstances it’s not unreasonable to want to try to haggle. You may not want the fuss of changing phone number if that’s part of your package, and if you’re a broadband with TV customer who’s grown accustomed to the channels you get you won’t want to change either. And although you’re bedded in, it’s reasonable that you do want a better deal than the one your current broadband provider is cutting. If that’s the case, why not try simply asking for a better deal The Which? survey reports that roughly half of people asked for a better bargain, and they were usually asked to sign up to another contract commitment, but in most cases that did mean getting a better package and paying less.
Customers who stayed with their internet service provider, but struck up a new deal say they saved £85 on broadband and £128 on broadband with TV.
We British aren’t accustomed to haggling over a price, especially not when we’re dealing with a huge corporation. However, if it means keeping you as a customer, it’s worth their while to knock a few pounds off. (From a market point of view it costs a lot less to give you a better deal than it does to lose you and have to onboard a new customer with advertising, special offers for new customers et cetera, so you’re saving them time, effort and money by asking for a better offer!)
Then Again, You Could Do Nothing About Changing Your Broadband Provider
And that would be a bad idea! With all of the big internet service providers hiking their prices for people already in contract, they’re all simultaneously trying to capture leavers with introductory offers and promotions. There has hardly been a better time to be a customer looking for a good new deal!
But be aware, any of the contracts you sign with the major high street companies are going to have annual increase clauses in the contract, this year that’s going to be as much as 9% for some customers. If you’re within the fixed term of your contract, and your provider won’t offer you a reduction, that’s it. You’re stuck until your contract expires, and it’s only then that you’ll be able to shop around.
Briant Broadband does things differently. We don’t have contracts, additional line rental or any other hidden costs. We’re so flexible you can change your package to suit your needs, meaning you can increase it if you’re not getting the speeds you need, reduce it if you budget and data consumption don’t match, or pause it if you’re not going to be using any data for a month or more.
If you’re looking for a digital broadband data provider in the Worthing area why not get in touch to talk to us about our good old fashioned customer satisfaction focused local service. Call on 01903 221999