Virgin hiking prices: how to fight back
Virgin has announced yet more huge price increases are on the way for customers. The exact change to your package will vary based on the deal you have, but most customers will see their bills increase by 8.8%.
That’s because Virgin has it written into its contracts that each year it can increase prices by the retail price index (RPI) measurement of inflation plus 3.9%. Given the latest inflation figures, we now know that this equates to a jump of 8.8%.
And it comes after a 13.8% increase last year, meaning loyal customers have seen enormous increases to their costs over the last few years.
Those price increases will start kicking in for most customers from the start of April.
The annual price hike does not apply to every plan offered by Virgin, as there are some exceptions.
For example it doesn’t apply to any add-ons you have chosen, any additional admin costs (like paper billing), and there are certain packages that are entirely excluded.
These include the Essential and Essential Plus broadband packages, and Talk Protected plans.
Changing its terms and conditions
Virgin once 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 last year changed its terms and conditions to allow for annual hikes linked to RPI.
It’s worth pointing out that RPI is largely outdated and always comes in higher than the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation, which essentially means that your bills will increase even more in the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
In previous years, the fact that these price hikes were not written into contracts meant you could choose to leave without having to pay an exit fee, assuming you were still within the initial contract period.
That has changed though ‒ if you are put off by these price hikes and want to leave, there may well be an exit fee to account for. The size of that fee will depend on how long you have left and the contract you’re on.
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.
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 both get up to £50 cash.
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.