Virgin Media has just announced that its prices for phone, broadband and TV customers are rising with some customers seeing a 4.7 per cent hike in bills, which could be up to an extra £48 a year. The new increase will start in November although some users will see the changes to their bills as early as October 2017.
It is thought that as many as 5 million Virgin Media customers could be affected by increasing bills. Virgin Media are informing all customers of this payment increase in the form of a letter, giving you the chance to cancel your contract with no fees if you do so within a month of receiving the letter.
What do Virgin Media say?
A Virgin Media spokesperson said: "We do everything we can to balance keeping our prices competitive while investing to meet the ever-increasing appetite for broadband and content.
"Online usage increased by more than 35% in the last year and streaming now accounts for nearly 60% of the total traffic on Virgin Media's network.
"We're investing more in our ultrafast network to continue offering the UK's fastest widely available speeds. This all comes on top of must-see TV programming – from Virgin TV exclusives to the only place where you can watch all of the live football action from both Sky and BT Sport in a single package."
What can you do?
There are three things you can do with this information if you’re currently a Virgin Media customer:
- Cancel that contract
If you’re not willing to pay this increased fee, for which you’re getting the same service, then you have 30 days from receiving the letter to cancel your contract. This is due to the Ofcom (UK communications regulator) requirement, ensuring customers the right to cancel their contract without a fine if the price of their bundle is increased. You’re then free to search around and get a fantastic phone, broadband and TV bundle from another company.
2. Stay with Virgin Media, but call them and wrangle a better deal
The important thing to remember when calling a service provider for a better deal is to remain calm and be knowledgeable. If you know you can get a better deal elsewhere, don’t be afraid to say so, and lead with a reasonable discount.
Remember it is the customer services job to keep you as a customer, and they do hold the power to give you a discount. Don’t accept the first deal they offer you, 9 times out of 10, it’s not the best one that can do for you, be patient, polite and firm.
3. Accept the price increase and go on as normal
Obviously, this isn’t the recommended solution. £3.50 a month is a huge increase, but if you’re happy with the service and the bundle you’ve got, Virgin Media will happily retain you as a customer.
What about UK businesses?
The same applies to you. The three options stated above will apply, you can either cancel your contract and go elsewhere, haggle a better deal with Virgin Media or simply swallow the cost. However, with so many companies offering business phone lines, broadband and fibre, it seems like a poor decision to pay more for this service when you will get it cheaper elsewhere.
As a small company, if you choose to look for a new internet service provider, it is important to look at the company reviews, not just the prices they offer. It is often that smaller companies will offer a higher standard of customer care, combined with low prices in order to make a mark against the large companies like BT. Customer service is important for you because if something were to go wrong, the assurance of knowing help is only one phone call away.
bOnline are always happy to talk to new customers and provide them with great business broadband and phone deals. We invite all unsatisfied Virgin Media customers to phone us and talk to someone in our dedicated sales team, where you’ll discover how much you can save and join the thousands of businesses already benefitting from our service.