Virgin Media has announced that it will be increasing its prices by around £56 per year for millions of its customers from the 1st March 2022.
This is the second annual price hike from the cable provider in two years, after it froze prices in 2020 to help customers through a year that was rocked by the coronavirus pandemic.
Unlike other providers, Virgin Media doesn’t include a yearly price rise in its contract terms, which means if you're affected, you'll be allowed to switch or cancel your contract without any cost.
But you best be quick, because you'll only be able to do so until Tuesday 15th February 2022. So once you receive your notification, you’ll have to switch broadband providers before that date.
Which Virgin Media customers are affected?
The price hike will be applied to all customers using Virgin Media broadband, TV or home phone packages. So almost all customers will see their bills increase, but there will be an exception for the following groups:
- Those on a Virgin Media Essential broadband deal, which is available to people receiving financial support like Universal Credit
- Talk Protected landline customers
- Customers on 'out of bundle' plans, which don't use Virgin's cable network
Virgin Media started notifying customers on the 4th January, and will be sending out communications to all affected customers over the next couple of weeks.
How much is the price increase?
Virgin Media hasn’t publicly confirmed the exact amounts it will be increasing prices by, but it has said the average monthly increase is £4.70, which is £56.40 per year.
The actual increase you receive depends on the package you’re signed up to. Virgin has now started contacting customers with their precise numbers, so make sure to check your email, inbox or post to see if you received a communication from them about the increase.
A Virgin Media spokesperson had this to say about the latest annual price increase: “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 consumers do?
Affected Virgin Media customers will be able to cancel their contract for free and start looking elsewhere for a cheaper deal once they receive their notification from the provider.
This is in contrast with other providers, such as BT, Plusnet and EE, who have added an annual price increase of 3.9% above the rate of inflation to their terms and conditions. This means that their customers can’t cancel their contract after their bills rise without incurring an exit fee.
But as a Virgin Media customer, you have until Tuesday 15th February to either cancel your contract or switch.
If you miss the cancellation period, you are left with two options, but neither involve a guarantee that you’ll be able to reduce your current bill:
- Negotiating the terms of your contract with Virgin Media in the hope of receiving an improved deal
- Sticking with your current deal, if it still happens to be the best value offer that you can find
Virgin Media end of contract price hike
An annual inflation price hike isn’t the only increase you’ll have to beware of with your broadband. If you’ve been in your current contract with Virgin Media for more than 18 months, you’ll likely be paying much more expensive ‘out of contract’ fees.
This is when your fixed-term contract has ended and your provider is able to increase your monthly prices. In some cases your monthly tariff can go up by as much as 45%.
However, at this stage you’re also free to cancel your contract and switch to a new provider at any time. If your contract with Virgin Media has ended, you should have received an end of contract notification in the post or via email detailing your new charges.
Out of contract price increases are higher
Our latest data shows that Virgin Media increases its out of contract monthly prices by more than any other broadband provider.
According to our price guide in January 2022, the Virgin Media M100 Ultrafast package nearly doubles in price from £25 per month to £44 per month after the fixed-term contract ends. And the price of its M500 package increased by 68% from £37 per month to £62 per month.
End of contract notification
Any Virgin Media customer whose contract comes to an end will be moved onto increased out of contract fees. However, if your contract is ending soon, you will receive a notification from Virgin reminding you of your end date and details of new plans you could switch to for a cheaper price.
Keep in mind that your contract ending also means you can shop and compare elsewhere for a broadband deal that better suits you, if you so wish.
The price increase you’re likely to experience if you stay out of contract with Virgin Media is extremely high. So it should reassure you to know that it also means you can re-contract or switch to a new deal any time to avoid the price hike.
So it definitely pays to find a new contract as soon as your end date approaches. Make sure to watch out for your end of contract notification from Virgin Media and compare broadband deals to make sure you’re getting the best service for you and your money.
How to contact Virgin Media
If you’d like to contact Virgin Media — whether that’s to negotiate an improved deal, double check whether you’re affected or just to find out more information — you can get in touch with its customer services team in a number of ways.
- Phone: Speak to Virgin Media’s customer services by calling 0345 454 1111 for free. Opening hours are Mon-Fri 7am-11pm / Sat-Sun 8am-8pm.
- Website: Sign in to your Virgin Media account on its website.
- Live chat: Get in touch with a customer representative at Virgin Media through its Live Chat feature.
- Twitter: Make your inquiry via Twitter by tweeting @virginmedia