Virgin Media increased prices for millions of broadband, TV and home phone customers in April 2023. Monthly costs have gone up an average of 13.8%, pushed by extremely high inflation rates in the UK at the start of the year.
Unlike other providers, Virgin Media allows you to switch or cancel your contract without any cost if you're affected. But unfortunately that window to switch early for free has likely now passed.
Virgin only allows a 30-day window to end your current agreement if they increase your prices. And since its price rise notifications went out in January and February, that deadline has now passed.
However, another key difference with Virgin Media is that you will only be charged this price increase once your initial contract term has ended. Which means you'll face a much higher monthly price when your contract ends - but it also means you're free to switch to a better deal before having to pay that higher amount.
Here's everything you need to know about Virgin Media's price increase.
Yes. Virgin Media's pricing terms say it'll raise prices for almost all of its customers on the 1st April every year. Even if you're mid contract, you'll see your prices go up from this date in 2024.
We won't know Virgin's exact price increase amount until January, because from next year it'll be mostly decided by the Retail Price Index (CPI) inflation rate in December 2023. But to give a rough idea, the RPI rate for September 2023 was reported at 8.9%, and Virgin has its own yearly price rise of 3.9%. So at current levels you'd see a price rise of 12.8% in April next year.
This would only be one percent lower than its huge 2023 price increase of 13.8%, and given other providers use the lower CPI inflation rate (6.3% in September 2023), it'd make Virgin Media's price increase the highest of all UK broadband providers.
Just keep in mind the inflation rate will likely change in the time leading up to January - this is not an official prediction of the price increase you will receive. For more information on how Virgin Media’s annual price rise works, read below about its 2023 price increase.
Virgin Media's price hike for the average customer in 2023 was a huge 13.8%. This is a record-breaking increase from the provider, as it's tied to the high rates of inflation the UK has recently been dealing with.
Depending on how much you pay for your current Virgin Media package, your price likely went up by at least £2-3 per month. But if you pay a high monthly price for your service, your monthly cost could increase by as much as £10, which is £120 per year.
Here's a table to show how much more you could be paying with this price rise.
The price hike is applied to almost all customers using Virgin Media broadband, TV or home phone packages.
The newly-increased rate took effect between April-May 2023 for many customers, though some were notified that they'd receive the increase at the end of their fixed-term contract. So if you're a Virgin Media customer, make sure to check the email you received to see which increase applied to you.
However, the following groups were exempt from this year's price increase:
If you don't fall into one of the above categories, you are one of the millions of Virgin Media customers that will have to pay the 13.8%, which Virgin has said is the 'average' amount extra.
However, not all hope is lost, because you'll be able to cancel your contract and switch to another broadband provider once this price rise comes into effect.
If you were affected by the price increase, you would have been allowed to cancel your contract for free and start looking elsewhere for a cheaper deal, but only within 30 days of your notification from Virgin.
As this window has now passed, you won't be able to leave your contract early without paying a penalty fee.
This policy is 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 and avoid an exit fee.
But as a Virgin Media customer, you would have had 30 days to either cancel your contract or switch.
If you missed the cancellation period, you won't have to start paying the increased amount immediately, though. Just make sure you know when your contract is coming to an end, so you can avoid the price hike and move onto a cheaper deal before your rate goes up.
If you want to avoid a price hike from Virgin Media and switch to a cheaper broadband deal, the 30-day window is your best opportunity to do so. But you will also be able to do so at the end of your contract, before you are moved onto your higher price.
However, it's worth keeping two things in mind:
Many other providers have mid-contract price increases built into their T&Cs, so you might be stuck with one anyway if you switch to one of those providers. Find out which providers increase their prices each year.
If you're with Virgin Media because of its internet speed, you might not be able to find another provider that offers the same speed in your area. This is because it operates on its own network, so unless you can also get full fibre broadband where you live, it might be the fastest you can currently get.
2023 is the final year that you will be able to cancel your contract for free as a Virgin Media customer within 30 days of a price increase notification.
From April 2024, Virgin Media will have a set price increase in its terms and conditions, much like BT, Plusnet, Vodafone, EE and TalkTalk.
This means that from 2024, you won't be given a window to cancel your contract without cost after a price rise. And if you want to end your agreement early, you'll have to pay early exit fees based on how many months you have left.
So 2023 is the final year that you can cancel your existing Virgin Media deal for free if you're affected by a price rise. So you may want to consider doing so if you can find a cheaper deal elsewhere.
Virgin Media has issued a statement on its new price rise plans for 2024:
“We know that price rises are never welcome, particularly right now, but like many other businesses we are experiencing significantly increased costs while investing to keep pace with growing demand, as broadband usage rose more than 10% last year and speeds increased by 40%. We’re committed to supporting customers in this tough climate and are freezing prices for vulnerable customers including those taking our social broadband tariffs.
“The introduction of inflation-linked price changes, which comes into effect in 2024 when RPI is projected to be at around 1.5%, will give customers clarity and certainty about what to expect from their bills while fuelling the investment required both now and in future. We will be clearly communicating these changes directly to our customers over the coming weeks.”
Virgin Media's price rises are usually put in place to combat its own increasing prices as a business. There are two main things that cause Virgin's costs to go up:
The biggest driver of its price rises in 2023 by far is the inflation rate, though. With the Consumer Price Index (CPI) at 10.5% — double what it was last year and 13 times higher than the rate two years ago — Virgin Media has increased its prices roughly in line with this. As have most other providers.
The April price hike isn’t the only price increase you’ll have to beware of with your broadband.
Firstly, any annual price increase you receive during your contract term will be added to a new monthly price that you'll have to start paying once your contract ends. Secondly, you'll likely also be moved onto much more expensive ‘out of contract’ prices when your term ends too.
These out of contract price increases can sometimes reach up to 45% on top of the annual price hike rates you would have accumulated too. That's a huge increase in your monthly outgoings once your contract ends.
The good news is, at this stage you’re also completely free to cancel your contract and switch to a new provider at any time.
If your contract with Virgin Media is ending in the next 40 days or so, you should have received an end of contract notification in the post or via email detailing your new charges.
And if you're already out of your initial contract term, you could already be overpaying for your Virgin service by a very large margin. In this case, you should definitely consider switching or re-contracting with Virgin.
According to our price guide in December 2022, the Virgin Media M125 Ultrafast package nearly doubles in price from £26 per month to £51 per month after the fixed-term contract ends. And the price of its M500 package increased by 63% from £38 per month to £62 per month.
Any Virgin Media customer whose contract comes to an end will be moved onto increased out of contract pricing. 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.
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
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