Virgin Media customers can expect contact from the ISP in the next couple of days, and it’s bad news. The company has announced its intention to raise the monthly prices for a “significant majority” of its customers by 4.5%.
In real terms, that means the bills of fixed-line broadband, phone and TV subscribers could go up between £2 and £4 each month, with an average increase of £2.20 plus VAT.
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Virgin Media is keen to emphasise that the changes “have nothing to do” with the recent standoff with UKTV over channels pulled from the service. Indeed, the company claims that the decision to up prices predates the disagreement and its eventual resolution.
In fact, the increase is actually slightly lower than the 2017 edition, which saw prices go up 4.7%.
So why are prices rising, aside from the obvious explanation that money is nice and companies generally want more of it? Well, Virgin Media claims that it’s a combination of network investment and a set of customers who are increasingly using the internet for more bandwidth-hungry activities.
Overall network usage has increased by “almost 40%”, the company claims, while nearly two thirds of overall traffic is taken up with streaming video. On top of this, the firm blames a 300% increase in business rates on broadband which, it argues, is “hiking up the costs associated with building and running our network.”
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If those excuses don’t pass muster with you and you want to walk away, you can. Ofcom has guidance for customers affected by mid-contract price increases, meaning that customers should be able to leave Virgin Media without paying the usual early-exit penalty.
You just need to act within 30 days of receiving the formal notice that the price is changing from the ISP.
Are you with Virgin Media? How do you feel about the price increase? Let us know on Twitter: @TrustedReviews