Virgin Media customers face price hikes for broadband, TV and landlines from next April – and now can’t cancel deals mid-contract if they object
- Users of Virgin Media are already facing 13.8% price rises this year
- Now the telecoms provider has laid out its plans to increase bills in 2024 too
- It said it will use the higher RPI measure of inflation, rather than CPI
Virgin Media customers face paying even higher bills for broadband, TV and landlines next year – and will lose the ability to cancel their deals without penalties.
The telecoms firm is already putting up prices by an average of 13.8 per cent from April or May 2023, depending on customers’ contracts.
But the provider is also the first to announce plans for its prices from April 2024.
Customers will face bill increases of the February 2024 inflation figure plus 3.9 per cent. Unusually, Virgin Media will use the higher retail price index measure of inflation to set its new prices, not the lower consumer price index measure.
Sign of the times: Virgin is switching to a higher inflation figure to set its price rises for 2024
CPI is currently the norm for working out telecoms price rises. RPI is currently 13.4 per cent, compared to 10.1 per cent for CPI.
RPI is predicted to fall to 1.5 per cent in 2024, with CPI at 0.6 per cent, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.
Virgin Media customers will also not be able to cancel their deals if their contracts go up in price mid-term.
New Virgin terms and conditions state: ‘As this annual price increase is provided for in your terms, there is no right to cancel given for this price increase from April 2024.’
Inflation-linked price rises can be unclear and unpredictable
Ofcom’s Cristina Luna-Esteban
A Virgin Media spokesperson said: ‘We know that price rises are never welcome, particularly right now, but like many other businesses we are experiencing significantly increased costs while investing to keep pace with growing demand, as broadband usage rose more than 10 per cent last year and speeds increased by 40 per cent.
‘We’re committed to supporting customers in this tough climate and are freezing prices for vulnerable customers and those taking our social broadband tariffs.’
Ofcom is carrying out a review into mid-contract broadband and phone price hikes linked to inflation.
When the communications regulator launched the review last month, Cristina Lund-Esteban, director of telecoms consumer protection, said this sort of tariff increase could be ‘unclear and unpredictable’.