by Steve Tattersall, last updated 29 January 2020
The finances of millions of Brits will take a further hit in 2020 with price increases from telecom giants BT (its annual CPI rate of inflation price change in March 2020) and Sky (April 2020). This guide takes a look at mid-contract price rises covering the likes of broadband, phone line rental, call packages and TV, while suggesting 3 ways to beat these price hikes.
Which Providers Are Increasing Their Prices?
It is not just BT and Sky who are increasing their prices. In December 2019, Vodafone and Plusnet customers experienced price increases, while back in September 2019, millions of Virgin Media customers were hit by price hikes. June 2019 saw increases for out of contract TalkTalk customers and EE Broadband customers.
Why Is My Package Increasing In Price? I Thought It Was A Fixed Price!
Many providers increase their prices each year to help fund the improvement of their products and services. However, many Brits believe at the point of ordering their package, they are signing up to a fixed monthly price for the life of their contract.
Here Is The GOOD NEWS!
To improve protection for consumers from mid-contract price rises, broadband providers have to follow guidance rules laid down by Ofcom, the telecoms regulator.
These rules state that customers should be given at least one month's notice of the price increase and importantly, be allowed to leave their contract without penalty within 30 days of that notice.
3 Ways To Beat The Price Hikes
With customers able to exit their contract without penalty within 30 days of the price rise notice, here are 3 ways they can use this to beat the price hikes.
1. Switch Broadband Provider
Many Brits should use this as an opportunity to find a better deal with a new provider and make some savings along the way! To do this, follow the steps below.
Step 1 - Enter your postcode into our BBC recognised, broadband comparison tool to search and compare broadband packages in your area.
Remember, the likes of TalkTalk, Plusnet and the Post Office now offer fixed price Broadband and phone line rental packages for the duration of the contract (so you could fix your broadband price until 2021!), while Sky Sports and Sky Cinema day, weekly and monthly passes are available from NOW TV.
Step 2 - Select the deal that best suits your needs and click through to the provider website to order online.
If you are switching from or to the likes of TalkTalk, Plusnet, BT or Sky, the company you are switching to will handle the entire switch for you. Please see our guide to switching broadband provider for more information.
2. Haggle With Your Existing Provider
Though it is getting harder to secure a better deal with an existing provider, it may be worth using the price rise notice to haggle with your provider. They will have a raft of retention deals to call upon, but be prepared to stand firm and haggle hard - knowing you can ultimately exit your contract without penalty (within 30 days of the price rise notice).
3. Downgrade Your Existing Package
The questions to consider here are for example, do you need an anytime calls plan with your broadband package when you have unused minutes left on your mobile phone tariff each month?
Or, do you make use of all the TV channels within your subscribed digital TV package or would you be better off removing the TV package and paying as you go for the likes of Sky Sports and Sky Cinema with NOW TV?
If you're considering switching to a new provider, please use our broadband comparison tool to search and compare broadband packages in your postcode area.
About The Author, Steve Tattersall
Steve is a broadband technology writer and digital marketing consultant based in Hampshire (England). He founded the BBC recognised broadband information site BroadbandInternetUk.com in 2004 and is Chief Editor. He has 16 years experience within the telecommunications industry, helping people across the UK with their Internet requirements via a comprehensive range of broadband information, advice and guidance, all delivered on BroadbandInternetUk.com. He was previously a telecoms executive at cable operator NTL, which merged with Telewest to form Virgin Media, one of the UK's leading broadband, phone & TV suppliers. To contact Steve, please visit the contact us page or follow him on Twitter.
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