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UK broadband subscribers slapped with 'loyalty penalty' price hikes of up to 67%



Citizens Advice has claimed that many of the UK's biggest ISPs impose 'loyalty penalties' on long-term broadband customers.

According to the charity, the increases come into effect when introductory offers end, with prices rising by 43% on average a year, or £113 every 12 months.

Which might not be a massive shock to the tech-savvy – introductory deals are, after all, just that – but the report notes that over a third of customers were unaware the price hikes were being implemented, with the research adding that older and poorer households were most likely to get stung.

In all, Citizens Advice found that four of the UK's five biggest broadband players were guilty of 'loyalty penalties' – only Virgin Media gets off scot-free.

Here's a breakdown of the 'loyalty penalties', according to Citizens Advice's findings:

  • BT: 12 month contract – £198 (67%)
  • Sky: 12 month contract – £120 (53%)
  • EE: 18 month contract – £90 (36%)
  • TalkTalk: 24 months – £66 (28%)

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, commented:

"Loyal broadband customers are being stung by big price rises once their fixed deal ends.

"The government has rightly put energy firms on warning for how they treat loyal customers – the actions of broadband firms warrant similar scrutiny."

These 'loyalty penalties' claimed by Citizens Advice would be in addition to the annual increases imposed by most broadband providers – in the last 12 months, Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk and EE have all increased their prices.

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What do you make of 'loyalty penalties'? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Peter Lunn

April 11, 2017, 5:59 pm

Virgin is also guilty of this, they recently increased speeds and dropped prices but only for new customers, story was on TR. I am with them but out of any term on my contract so called them only to be told it was only for new customers. After tweeting and more calls got my Vivid 200 upgraded to Vivid 200 Gamer for basically the same price I was already paying - still more than new customers. If I could get the same service from another ISP I'd change every few years to keep up with the best deals. They are doing nothing to generate any loyalty.


April 11, 2017, 7:39 pm

I'm on Vivid 200 but from evening till pretty late I'm lucky to get 5Mbps. I really need to just cancel and go for something with another provider that's rated lower but actually faster.

Overnight I get the full 200Mbps but that's not a huge amount of use to me.

I guess I could look on the bright side, at least for me there are competitors to VM.


April 11, 2017, 9:50 pm

I was paying about £31 for Virgin's basic broadband only. Out of the blue they offered me Vivid 100 plus Fun TV for £30, fixed for 2 years. Given that I suppose prices would otherwise be going up a couple of times in that period it seemed like a decent offer. Of course if it really was 100Mb/s that would be good :)

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