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UK ISP Zen Internet Issues Warning Ahead of 1st July 2015 Price Hikes

Thursday, April 9th, 2015 (11:54 am) - Score 3,811

Customers of Rochdale-based ISP Zen Internet are being warned to expect a rise in the cost of their broadband packages from 1st July 2015, which will hit only a few months after their last December 2014 price rise (details) on the cost of phone line rental. But it will only impact some subscribers.

Admittedly Zen has a reputation for being a bit more expensive than the big boys, which is often mitigated by their perceived advantage through the delivery of a normally superior service quality and support. But even Zen are still hindered by the limits of BTOpenreach’s underlying response, which means that the advantages of paying extra will only take you so far.

For example, home users currently pay £18.37 per month for Zen’s entry-level ‘up to’ 17Mbps (ADSL2+) Zen Lite package with a 50GB usage allowance, which is well above the budget level pricing of TalkTalk’s £3.50 per month and Sky Broadband’s £7.50 options (both of which are unlimited usage, include free routers and that’s also excluding any special offers). On the other hand Zen’s current superfast FTTCfibre broadband” packages are a lot more in keeping with wider industry pricing (largely because ISPs don’t have much flexibility to differentiate).

In terms of the price rises, customers are being informed via personal letters and as such we don’t yet have a full picture of what is changing and by how much. We do know that some packages, especially legacy products, are going up by several pounds per month and this is thus more of a price hike than a tweak. For example, customers on the ISP’s older ADSL Zen 8000 Active package will see their monthly fees shoot from £21.27 to £26 +vat per month.

A Zen Internet Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:

Zen will be updating some of its broadband prices from 1st July 2015. For many years Zen has avoided imposing industry-wide price rises on its customers, brought about by a surge in demand for high-speed, high-usage connectivity in the home and office.

However, the cost of delivering our services to a standard that supports our highly-connected world – particularly in harder to reach areas with limited infrastructure – is continuing to rise. In some cases, it costs more than double the amount we charge our customers. As a result, we’ve reached a point where we must reluctantly alter our rates to reflect the growing overheads associated with installing and distributing broadband.

We are writing to every affected customer and will endeavour to alert them by any means about the changes as soon as possible. A specialist team will be on hand to discuss alternative broadband packages – including eligibility for a transition to fibre broadband – as well as offering support and advice on the new monthly prices.

We appreciate this will come as a surprise to many, so Zen won’t change any prices until 1st July 2015 – rather than offering the standard one month notice period – to allow customers to discuss their options with us.”

Crucially the ISP notes that customers will be “free to move away from Zen if the changes are unacceptable to them, and they can do so without facing any penalty“. But any customers who wish to move away or alter their services must inform Zen before 5pm on 31st May 2015.

We hope to have more details shortly.

UPDATE 12:03pm

It does indeed look as if the changes appear to affect customers in ADSLMax (up to 8Mbps) areas, which are often predominantly rural (last 9-10% of the UK) where BT’s older 20CN infrastructure still exists. The other two package price changes are thus as follows:

Zen Lite / Zen 8000 Lite
Current price: £15.31
New price: £16.00

Zen Pro / Zen 8000 Pro
Current price: £29.78
New price: £40.00

Leave a Comment
15 Responses
  1. Avatar adslmax says:

    absolute rip off with the bloody price hikes that’s all these think about. I guess it will be put on the ripoff line rental for the openreach clowns

    1. Avatar DTMark says:

      What’s an ‘absolute rip off’?

      As far as the Zen Pro / Zen 8000 Pro pricing is concerned, the price hike is a clear message “We don’t want those customers”.

      If that became widespread, then the BDUK project might have to re-evaluate certain areas where ADSL 1 is the only fixed line option, because to qualify as a solution the price has to be below a set amount.

      As I said a few years back (to paraphrase without looking it up) – in the future the only ISPs (of any note) will be BT, Talk Talk, Sky and Virgin with a few tiny ISPs still hanging on to a few remaining ADSL crumbs serving largely businesses at higher prices than now to then eventually go bankrupt.

      Zen have invested in their own backhaul and so may very well have seen this coming.

    2. Avatar Astroturfer says:

      You have no idea what you’re talking about.

      Openreach haven’t been increasing line rental costs, they’ve been steadily dropping.

      What has been going up is the average usage per customer, which costs money. Prices at some point have to reflect costs. Plusnet, BT, Sky, TalkTalk bury this in line rental.

      People complain like crazy when their services go up in price, then they complain when quality isn’t impeccable. Some people want to pay virtually nothing and think that a 1-2ms increase in latency merits an email to a CEO.

    3. Avatar Simon says:

      As a Zen customer affected by this, the real problem is that rural area’s as still stuck with old ADSL Max, and it’s pretty clear nobody wants to keep this kit going.

      Fortunately, we are getting FTTC next month….

    4. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Gotta say I’m in agreement your initial comment makes no sense at all

      Zen like others are putting up line rental, but the cost of the line rental from Openreach to the ISP’s (like Zen) has dropped

      So.. unsure why you are venting at Openreach they have not put up their prices, they’ve dropped them.

    5. Avatar david says:

      At fibrefred if you read the comment then he/she is stating that they normally put the price up on “line rental.” when they have these price hikes instead of the broadband.

  2. Avatar adslmax says:

    once one starts the others will be saying price hikes even tho its a con already paying over the odds for dial up broadband

  3. Avatar adslmax says:

    @ Astroturfer I don’t know where you have been “line rental dropping where at ? ” reason why people complain because its not worth the money due to Britain and the shoddy network run by BT

    1. Avatar Astroturfer says:

      ‘I guess it will be put on the ripoff line rental for the openreach clowns’

      Sorry if I misunderstood this to be a claim that Openreach have been ripping people off on line rental recently through raising prices, but perhaps if you’d try writing in English things would be clearer.

      I guess you’ll be coming back to Virgin again given you’ve stopped with the vitriol towards them and are now focusing on Openreach.

    2. Avatar adslmax says:

      hmmm if you cannot understand then don’t comment. To me others haven’t had a problem what it is meaning but shall explain : where I put openreach clowns they normally add the price hikes to the line rental and leave the broadband price the same to think your getting a good deal when actually you ain`t.

    3. Avatar Astroturfer says:

      I now understand fine, just that what you’re saying is nonsense. Openreach haven’t been increasing the line rental. Openreach just sell the lines they don’t charge for the ADSL broadband going on them.

      If you have no idea what you’re talking about, which you clearly don’t, and have nothing but factually inaccurate opinions perhaps you’re the one who should consider not commenting.

      You wouldn’t be missed.

    4. Avatar adslmax says:

      Well I got told today from the openreach clown that so much of isp`s line rental revenue goes to open reach.

      So if its non sense then obvious openreach are talking out there @ss filling customers heads full of shit. Also im not really bothered. If I wouldn’t be missed but some think they know it all but what the hell .

    5. Avatar Ben says:

      I believe the wholesale line rental costs from Openreach currently sit at £89.50 + VAT per year, so that’s £107.40 after VAT – or £8.95 a month. Most line rental charges around around £16 so that works out to be just over 55%.

      Wholesale line rental (Openreach) is currently at it’s lowest ever price, down from a peak of £103.68 (Exc. VAT) from 2010 to 2012. It’s the ISPs themselves that have been hiking the prices up.

  4. Avatar PhilB says:

    I am still only able to get up to 8mb ADSL and I’m not rural,far from it actually.I live less than 3 miles from a major English city centre.On a good day I can just about touch 3mb,averages around 2.6mb

  5. Avatar MB6391 says:

    Zen are firm about this and I’m currently stuck on the old ADSL1 – line speed is a stable 2.3mb. The Zen price hike is in the region of 30%. So including line rental my monthly bill will be about £60 per month incl VAT. Zen service is brilliant but it’s simply not worth the extra £300 a year over and above what is being offered elsewhere.

    The silly thing is that my exchange has been fibre enabled and due any time soon according to Openreach but Zen are not budging. The 1st July cutoff is fixed even though maybe a day or week later then fibre will be enabled on my line. So come end of May then it’s MAC time and I’ll be off before the 1st July.

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