Uswitch: “Virgin Mobile, O2 dual price rise absurd”
February 17, 2022
Virgin Media O2 has announced its annual price increase for its broadband, mobile, TV and landline customers.
Millions of customers will soon see their Virgin Media bill rise by as much as £4.70 per month which is one the biggest hikes in years. That increase could add as much as £56 to a yearly broadband and TV bill. Meanwhile, O2 customers are also facing hikes of up to 11.7 per cent (but it could for customers who have been with the network for more than a year).
Commenting on the price rise, Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at Uswitch, said: “The idea of both Virgin Mobile and O2 customers’ bills increasing by 11.7 per cent shows the absurdity of linking mid-contract price hikes to inflation. The networks both calculate price rises for most of their customers by adding 3.9 per cent to the RPI measure of inflation, which was revealed today as a staggering 7.8 per cent.“These mid-contract rises are written into customers’ contracts, but no one signing up for their deal 12 months ago could have guessed what their increase would be. Broadband and mobile users cannot be expected to guess what future inflation rates will be when they take out their contracts.” “We want Ofcom to act to make contracts crystal clear for consumers, and if providers want to link mid-contract rises to inflation they should let customers walk away penalty-free following such an increase. If providers insist on mid-contract price increases that consumers cannot escape, they should be spelled out in pounds and pence. If you’re still in a contract with Virgin Media O2 for your broadband, TV or mobile, you won’t be able to avoid these charges without facing an early termination fee. If you’re near the end of your contract, note the date in your calendar and switch to a cheaper alternative when you can. Should you find yourself in financial difficulty, don’t suffer in silence. Raise the issue with your provider and you may be able to negotiate a better deal, or switch onto a social tariff if you meet the criteria. “In the meantime, at a time where the cost of living is under real pressure for households, providers should let consumers walk away penalty-free from these hikes,” concluded Doku.