Virgin Media increases its broadband prices yet again [Update]

For customers on Virgin Media - one of the UK's largest internet service providers - it may not seem like all that long since the company increased its prices. In fact, it's been only six months since the last price hikes, and now it's planning to raise its broadband charges once again. 

The company announced its last price rises back in November 2013, but they did not come into effect until February of this year. Now, as The Telegraph reports, the ISP will raise charges for the second time this year - although this time around, the increases will only affect those customers who solely use its broadband service, without a phone line, TV package or Virgin Mobile line on the same account.

From October, any broadband-only customers who joined before May 2014 will see their bills go up by £1.50 per month. This means that some of Virgin Media's customers will have had to endure price increases of nearly 20% in the last year and a half. 

This time around, however, customers have a choice, thanks to new measures introduced by UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom earlier this year. Unlike fellow telco O2 - which circumvented Ofcom, exploiting a loophole that allows it to continue imposing price increases on its customers mid-contract - Virgin is sticking to the spirit of Ofcom's guidelines, confirming that any customer affected by the October increase will be able to cancel their contract without penalty. 

Source: The Telegraph


Update: Virgin Media has contacted Neowin to clarify a couple of details. First off, they note that the price increases announced in November 2013, and which came into effect in February 2014, did not affect broadband-only customers; those customers actually received a separate pricing adjustment in October 2013. Secondly, Virgin Media also points out that it has "always allowed its customers to leave without penalty whenever there has been changes made to our cable services". 

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31 Comments

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this sounds like it was posted by a BT employee :)

I think you should also mention how for instance my connection has gone from 20Mb to 60Mb for no charge and next month goes from 60Mb to 100Mb again for no charge , so my connection has increased in speed by five fold for free in a few years.

I also don't think there are many people who get only there broadband. Also there connection is excellent , very low pings and very reliable. The two times I have needed an engineer they have sent one out within 2-3 days as well , which I think is very good.

So I think it's misleading to mention a small price increase for some customers without mentioning the fact they have drastically increased speeds for free.

I was on a broadband package that had the price increase last year. I eventually left virgin because their pings during peak time were simply unreal. There were masses of threads on their support forums highlighting problem areas. Simply put, during peak times, it would take longer to connect to their servers. Consequently you would see pings of between 250-1000ms. Off-peak time my pings for games were around 30ms.

I switched to BT and whilst my speed is lower, my ping is far more consistent (only a small rise during peak which I believe is acceptable). However I'd say the connection is not as reliable so I'll soon be switching to plusnet.

Ultimately, all these companies have issues. The problem is they seem unwilling to upgrade infrastructure to improve reliability. Its only ever to improve speeds and most people get absolutely ludicrously hyper over an increase in speed. Speed genuinely means nothing if you can't get the damn thing working consistently. If consumers were less willing to fork out for these top speeds, I'd wager we'd see more reliable connections. The same is happening with 4G implementation too. The 3G network has suffered - see orange/ T-mobile deciding to decommission masts and then say "your signal will be fine" when it isn't.

I'm on 152Mbps which I got through a retention deal for £23/Month. I have the phone line with that but I have never once used the phone to make a chargeable call ever. It works out cheaper to get the bundle, so I don't really see any problem with it. As for the throttling, they have stopped capping downloads and only throttle uploads now which doesn't affect me. So I'm pretty happy with VM all round. In fact, I consistently get 152Mbps around 95% of the time.

I was a virgin customer but the speeds are so slow. They may advertise 152mb speeds, but the reality is it's nowhere near. The caps are so restrictive.

We changed to sky infinity which is significantly faster

Agreed, I had the same problem and went to Sky which brought out there fibre packages. 20MB Sky Fibre worked out to be more consistent and better than the 100MB Virgin cable. The 100MB was at max 70MB on a speed test, but in reality was anything from downloading from 50kbps to 1000. It was all over the place. And when you did download anything, it reduced you for the privilege of using it.

When I contacted them just after a price increase I got the usual we're introducing faster better services... how about getting the current service sorted first? they were happy for me to leave...

I agree this isn't good, but people comparing it to BT Infinity need to remember a few things. With BT, you require a phone line, which requires a rental at around £15 p/m anyway. So the cheapest tariff Infinity I can get in my area is £15 and change....which means it's just over £30 a month for significantly less overall speed than I get now for £36 with VM. I don't like it, but I'll continue to pay it as it's the best option out there for those who don't have TV/Phone packages.

All the customers complaining really need to open their eyes to the state of broadband in other countries before whining about VM. I'd love to get the speeds I had in the UK for the amount I pay here

To be honest I've been with Virgin about 4 months now on their 'lowest' tier.. I came from being stuck on 2mbit ADSL so, frankly they could DOUBLE the cost of the broadband and I'd still pay it as it's an absolute revolution compared to what I was used to :)

Our bill was £30 a month for just 120mbit broadband (after moaning to Virgin last year about them increasing the price by £5 every bill), last month our bill randomly went up £38ish, then this month it went up again to £45... Yet new customers get 150mbit for £40.

I really do think it's disgusting how Virgin just randomly keep jacking up the prices until you phone up and complain. Having been with NTL / Virgin for 14 years, the only loyalty reward we get is the privilege of paying more than the advertised prices.

Sadly their is no real alternative around here, 120meg Virgin Media or 3mbit ADSL from BT...

You are right, we have been with Cable & Wireless / NTL / Virgin for 15+ years, you get nothing for loyalty unless it seems you ring retention's and threat to leave, which we don't really want to do as a similar TV/Phone and slower internet package from Sky will cost us more.

Word of warning, you are not guaranteed to get anything from retention's either.

You need to bargain harder. You will see another guy here gets XXL152 broadband and phone for £23/month. I get 152Mb broadband only for £22.50 /month. I could have got the phone as well but I didn't want it. It does take some hard bartering but they'd rather get some money from you than not at all.

Wam7 said,
You need to bargain harder. You will see another guy here gets XXL152 broadband and phone for £23/month. I get 152Mb broadband only for £22.50 /month. I could have got the phone as well but I didn't want it. It does take some hard bartering but they'd rather get some money from you than not at all.

Damn that's a great deal. They wanted to up my bill to £30 for my 120/12 line with this hike. I cancelled and was almost about to join BT, slower download speeds which doesn't bother me but 20Mb upload, almost double VM. Had a call back from VM & with some bartering, they offered me 152/12 for £26.50 with a 12 month contract.

How did you haggle them to £22.50? They were offering me 100/6 for that price..

Maybe if you use the extra speed its good value, but if you don't use it - which most customers wont, then its £1.50 for nothing.

It's only £1.50! If that's too much money for some people for double the speed then they need to look at their lives and try to understand where it all went so horribly wrong.

Steve121178 said,
It's only £1.50! If that's too much money for some people for double the speed then they need to look at their lives and try to understand where it all went so horribly wrong.

Well if you could use double the speed 24/7 I would say it is good money. but basically they just cut the time in half that takes you do get the cap. so.. no..paying for a flatrate which is not a flatrate - and now paying even more

That doesn't sound so bad on the surface. Here in Winnipeg, MB, Canada I pay $92 and change for 50Mbps down and 5Mbps up with no cap (no other services like landline, TV, mobile)

enroh said,
That doesn't sound so bad on the surface. Here in Winnipeg, MB, Canada I pay $92 and change for 50Mbps down and 5Mbps up with no cap (no other services like landline, TV, mobile)

It's dire, for £26/month you can get 76 down/19 up with BT infinity. And unlike VM, bt doesn't cap you to a third of your stated speed during peak hours or if you download a certain amount.

OK so VM is poor. (I did say "on the surface *lol*) That speed cap during peak times is BS though. Do they state what the cap is before they cripple your connection? Why not switch to BT? Is it a service area issue?

They've changed the rules on the bandwidth caps ages ago, the upload speed is the only thing that is traffic managed and the threshold revolves every hour, the only way to get your download speed lowered is to download at full speed 24/7, in which case you'll get a nice letter in the post telling you to stop doing it! :D

Meanwhile BT in this area are shockingly bad! :D Like 95% of the UK!

You can get up-to 76 download on BT Infinity I have not seen many people getting that speed unlike virgin media they reach that speed!

I have the 152MB connection and my speed test constantly points out I get speeds of 160MB! let me know a BT Speed test that gives you more?

enroh said,
That doesn't sound so bad on the surface. Here in Winnipeg, MB, Canada I pay $92 and change for 50Mbps down and 5Mbps up with no cap (no other services like landline, TV, mobile)

I pay $47 (which is pretty much 26 quid) for 25Mbit down and 2Mbit up with a 300GB usage allowance. Glorious Teksavvy.

However my service is exceptionally reliable and full speed. I have a friend back home in Edinburgh using Virgin and regularly it's a complete ###### show. Drops out...gets like 300 ping spikes etc. It's pure ######.

What is their reasoning for it being broadband only customers? Just to try and push us on to a full package? it's like "we don't make enough money off broadband only lets boost the price". I appreciate prices are subsidised when you have the full package, but i'm still a paying customer, they shouldn't be allowed to penalise me for not wanting their rubbish Tivo box.

By broadband only they mean customers with out TV or phone line service.
I'm one of them who've been hit by the price increase, at the same time I get a flyer saying I could have the TV package as well for less then I'm paying for my broadband only connection if I take out a phone line with them.

I'll be calling their retentions team Monday. Probably end up with another year's half price broadband.