Virgin hiking prices: how to fight back
Virgin Media has confirmed it is hiking bills for its customers by an average of 13.8% this year.
The exact size of your bill change will vary based on your individual package, but the provider says that on average customers with broadband, TV and home phone deals with Virgin will see their bills rise by 13.8%.
The bill increases aren’t happening on a single day either ‒ customers will see their bills increase from either 1st April or 1st May. You’ll hear from the provider about when your bill is set to go up.
Importantly, not all customers will be subject to these price hikes. It all comes down to your package with Virgin Media.
For example, if you are a mobile-only customer, then this particular price rise won’t apply to you.
Instead, your bill will go up by the retail price index measurement (RPI) of inflation for January, plus 3.9% ‒ we don’t have that figure yet.
Similarly, those on social tariffs or vulnerable customers won’t see their bills rise in the same way.
Changing its terms and conditions
Virgin stood out from its competitors in that it was one of the few providers that did not write it into its contracts that it would be increasing prices in line with inflation each year.
This was good news for those looking to leave as a result of the price hikes, which might explain why Virgin is making a change to its terms and conditions as well.
As a result, from April 2024, the provider will increase bills for its various products by RPI plus 3.9%.
It’s worth pointing out that RPI is largely outdated and always comes in higher than the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation, which essentially means that your bills will increase even more in the future, while getting out of your contract will be harder when those price hikes are announced.
How to fight back
The good news for current customers is that up to now Virgin has not had it written into contracts that it would be allowed to increase bills in line with inflation each year.
As a result, if it does want to increase those bills, it cannot charge you an exit fee if you opt to leave as a result.
That means you can walk away as a result of the incoming bill increases, without having to pay a penny for the privilege. Ordinarily, if you wanted to leave in the middle of your contract, you would have to pay a termination fee.
The size of that fee would depend on how long you have left on your contract, though it is capped at a mighty £288.
It is worth stressing that if you are looking to save money on your various deals, one of the most effective ways to do so is to take the time to shop around for new broadband, TV, landline or mobile deals.
Unfortunately, broadband customers often face substantial hikes each year once their initial cheap deal expires.
It means you need to be switching pretty regularly or risk wasting hundreds of pounds a year.
When shopping around, you have a number of options available to you.
We should stress that these are sites that we have affiliate deals with, so we'd earn a small commission on any deal you applied for.
The most important thing is to compare available deals in your area and then choose the cheapest one.
And of course, if you can earn cashback on top of that particular deal, all the better!
Cut down your package
One easy way to cut your bill is to trim down your Virgin Media package.
You may be paying for things that you don’t actually need, particularly when it comes to the TV side.
For example, you could get a ‘Biggest TV bundle’ combined TV, broadband and phone package for £87 a month on a 18-month contract, which then rises to £114 a month.
The package boasts over 200 channels, possibly including more obscure shows fewer people may watch.
You could switch to the ‘Big’ bundle for £29.99 a month for 18 months before the price increases to £65 per month – and still get access to over 100 channels while saving lots of money.
Or if you find you don’t watch that much TV, you could get a Freeview box once your contract is up.
It's not just TV though. You may be paying more for faster download speeds that you don't really need, or for an inclusive calls package that you might be able to live without.
To downgrade, ring 150 from your Virgin Media phone or mobile. Alternatively, you can call 0345 454 1111 from any other phone.
Haggle for a lower price
If you haven’t had a go at haggling, try it! It can be quite addictive once you get going.
Pick up the phone to get started. Here are the numbers you need:
Virgin Media Cable
Virgin Media phone or mobile: 150
Any other phone: 0345 454 1111
Mobile customers: 789
Mobile customers calling from any other phone: 0345 6000 789
Successful renegotiated virgin contract, avoiding a big price hike, but now in that weird after period where I wonder if I gave in too easily & should have held on for more 🤔🤷♀️— Feef (@FeckOffFlouncer) January 22, 2023
How to haggle with Virgin Media
First of all, those who aren’t confident on the phone should note down what they’re going to say before they make the call.
Make sure you get your timings right and wait until you are nearing the end of your contract before you get in touch.
As for the actual time of day to call, avoid the busiest times: Mondays, lunchtimes, the end and beginning of the month, as well as 5pm-6pm are generally the worst times.
Be charming, but not aggressive or entitled. You don't want to put the person you are speaking to on the defensive.
Threatening to cancel is a key part of the haggling game. The aim is to get passed on to the customer services’ retentions department as they’ll want to hang on to you as a customer.
They may also be able to do more for you deals-wise than the rest of the customer service team.
Try telling them that what you’re currently paying is too high or that you’ve found a cheaper deal with another provider.
Make sure you do your research beforehand so that you can name examples of better deals if you’re asked.
If it doesn’t work, try again a few days later.
It could just be that the person on the other end of the phone reached their discount quota that day, or they simply may have been in a bad mood.
Get more tips at How to haggle and save a fortune.
Hello Adam, disappointing to hear you're thinking of switching providers. We do value all our new and existing customers and aim to give the best deals possible. You can check out our existing customers deals here https://t.co/3wBUefdoNs some exciting offers. ^JS— Virgin Media (@virginmedia) July 3, 2019
Bag some extras
If you can’t get any money off, try getting some extra stuff thrown in free of charge.
Go for paperless billing
You could save £21 a year through paperless billing with Virgin Media.
Just sign into your My Virgin Media account, click on profile at the top of the page, scroll down to the eBilling section and click Switch to eBilling.
Get the best deals as a new customer
Unlike Sky, who won’t accept you as a new customer until you’ve been away for a while, Virgin Media considers you a new customer if you’ve been disconnected for three months.
So, you can leave for a few months, and then come back on one of the best offers!
Refer a friend
It’s a short-term fix, but if you refer a friend, you get up to £60 cash.
Just fill in the form and when your mate signs up, you’ll both get up to £60.
Switch your bank account
Some bank accounts pay cashback on your Direct Debits, including money spent on broadband, TV and phone packages.
So, you can earn a few quid back thanks to your bill every month.
*This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently.