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Virgin Media UK Confirms Incoming Annual Price Hikes for 2018

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018 (10:56 am) - Score 5,120
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Cable broadband ISP and TV operator Virgin Media has today become the latest provider to confirm that customers will soon be hit by an annual price increase on their bills between October and November 2018, although they claim that the average rise is a little “lower than last year” (i.e. 4.5% in 2018 against 4.7% in 2017).

Customers can expect to receive a notification about the latest increase starting from tomorrow. Overall it’s stated that prices for a “significant majority” of customers will increase between £2.00 and £4.00 per month (the average increase is £2.20 +vat).

However the operator is keen to stress that these changes, which will affect their fixed line broadband, phone and TV subscribers, “have nothing to do with the recent agreement we have reached with UKTV to restore its channels“. Virgin stated that their decision forms part of a complex process that pre-dates the recent UKTV discussions.

As usual the reasons for such increases tend to vary, although it’s often a combination of inflation, rapidly rising data usage by end-users, network / content upgrades and the fact that big ISPs also have to adopt a lot of new measures as part of changing regulation (e.g. automatic compensation for broadband faults, internet snooping laws etc.).

A Virgin Media Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:

“Increasing prices is not a decision which we take lightly. We work hard to keep our prices competitive while continuing to invest in our network and improve the services we offer our customers.

This year’s price increase is lower than last year while broadband usage on our network has increased by almost 40% in that time, with approximately 60% of total traffic now due to more streaming of video. At the same time the impact on us of a 300% increase in business rates on broadband networks has started to take effect, hiking up the costs associated with building and running our network.

Over the past year we’ve invested around a billion pounds in our network and upgraded many of our customers to faster broadband while introducing a new top speed of 362Mbps – the fastest widely-available speed in the market.

Our significant investment continues to bring real benefits to Virgin Media customers – under new rules introduced this year to bring greater transparency to broadband advertising we were the only major provider to see our advertised speeds increase. On top of speed improvements we’ve also accelerated the rollout of our latest technology such as the popular V6 TV box and Hub 3.0 router to millions of our customers.

Giving our customers an amazing service with the best connectivity, great programming – from exclusive entertainment to 4K UHD sport – and innovative new upgrades is something we’re committed to – and we’ll be delivering even more of this during the coming year.”

The telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has a rule against mid-contract price hikes and this means that customers should be able to exit their contract penalty free (you need to do this within 30 days of receiving Virgin’s formal notification). Just remember that other major ISPs will also be increasing their prices in the same way.

Alternatively customers could try calling the operator directly and trying to haggle for a lower price (Retentions – Tips for Cutting Your Broadband Bill Without Switching ISP).

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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55 Responses
  1. Meadmodj

    Just enough to increase profits without putting off customers. It just annoys me there is no loyalty to those that stay with a given provider where the router/tv box and other costs have long been paid off. Instead the continued wasteful migration between providers is rewarded, those on legacy networks subsidise new build and see their prices rise automatically.

    • CarlT

      Those on legacy networks don’t subsidise new build. That’s being funded by debt. Those on legacy networks are or have already had them rebuilt, and of course have had extensive upgrades to the hubsites feeding them.

      Arris E6ks, Cisco cBR-8s, CCAP and RPHY weren’t a thing when those legacy networks were built.

      Cable networks aren’t like Openreach’s, they require constant upgrade both in the field and at hubs. VM can’t just stick a pod on the side of a cabinet.

  2. Skyrocket

    More greedy profit from VM – VM are not worth it anymore in my view!

  3. BuckleZ

    I don’t mind at all, £44 for 362Mb, Phone(Weekend) and Freeview V6 is nothing, a few pound won’t hurt.

    Considering BT charging £48.99/month for their Infinity 2 package alone.

    • un4h731x0rp3r0m

      “Considering BT charging £48.99/month for their Infinity 2 package alone.”

      Oh if only it was that cheap its £58.99

    • VM Customer

      But as a new customer and therefore ditching VM, you can get fttc from £25, maybe cheaper if you look around.and usually good reward deals like £150 sonetimes.

      May not have the headline speed but latency generally superior than VM and feels faster. Most people could live with 50mbps or over on FTTC, but not all.

    • un4h731x0rp3r0m

      New customer prices really do not enter the equation, a NEW customer on VM can have 50Mb + Phone for £27. SO not that different anyway.

      Personally i never look at the new customer price, i prefer to know what i will be paying long term. That combined with many of the big providers (VM and BT included) often raising prices during your contract period and thus the special offer prices you see turn out to be not that special.

      Sure you can leave if prices increase but doing that just means you are in a never ending cycle of changing your ISP every few months. Something i personally do not have the time for, or the patience for, especially if they can not port your home phone number and you have to constantly tell others your new home number.

      My personal opinion of course, others may have excess time to riffle through every ISP offer every few months, i do not.

  4. Simon

    I have to say – in the past I would have considered leaving – but as VM have delivered 384mbps 24/7 for the past 9 months I really can’t see a problem here – I pay £42 now just for internet – but it’s worth it – I only have 3 months left of my contract anyway.

    I wonder if there will be any more internet upgrades this coming year? Got to give them the cash to invest – as I said this time around I am not bothered by £4 increase or whatever it’s going to be.

  5. Craig

    I am with Vodafone and they haven’t had a price increase in what seems a long time.

  6. Skyrocket

    U’re all must be mad to agreed to pay little extra as VM would laugh all the way in their bank account and still ripping you all off in UK.

    • Simon

      Sorry? Your FTTC giving you 384mbps 24/7?

      No? Didn’t think so..

    • un4h731x0rp3r0m

      Curious who Maxs latest ISP is, what speed he has and what he pays which he deems is not a rip off.

    • VM Customer

      Some are VM luvvies(sycophants) or VM staff. They don’t take likely to any criticism or opinion that is not positive to VM.

      They’re like a pack of dogs, ready to pounce on anyone that is negative to their master.

    • un4h731x0rp3r0m

      NO not that. He often not just on VM stories but other ISPs also often pops up, declares something is a rip off, does not say why, does not recommend cheaper, does not mention his ISP or why they are a better choice. Then vanishes. Making his short sharp and often incoherent posts worthless.

    • Simon

      VM Customer – you need to use a spell checker..

      un4h731x0rp3r0m agreed _ I have both VM 350 and AAISP 80/20 both would make MAX’s eyes water if he discovered the cost – and he would declare it a rip off etc

      You get what you pay for – he’s probably on a freebie BT package.

  7. James

    Can we assume, Virgin Media don’t actually WANT to have any customer left? They certainly don’t seem to deserve any. We are already leaving due to awful treatment over the UKTV channels and constant faults and bugs with their Tivo and lack of customer support. Who even cases about 364mbps or whatever number they want to claim.

  8. Random Precision

    I’ve only been with Virgin since the end of July, broadband and phone, 350Mb and anytime calling plan, £46 a month. The service is superb and if they increase the price by £4 a month it’s still excellent value.

    • Simon

      Agreed. I have set a limit and once they cross that – unless the speed has gone up. I will consider canning them for a while – other companys might not offer the speed but the CS is better and that price is what others charge

  9. Simon

    Snowflakes whinging about a bit of dust. I had to hoover up after my install – just one of those things.

  10. Daniel

    A friend of mine has recently signed up for Virgin Media and their activation date is 31st August. Will this increase apply to them too (ie, recently signed up customers as well as existing ones) ?

    • aimon

      I don’t think so – VM have a habit of hoping over customers – some will have it this time and some next time usually stand alone and bundles are separate – But if so he has 21 or 28 days to get out of it – and if he is affected he will have that get out clause also

  11. Jerry

    It does amuse me that people are moaning about a £2-4 increase. Hell I’d pay an extra £4 a month if I were achieving speeds of anywhere near 300Mbps.

    I’m paying £24.99 a month and I’m receiving 2Mbps. Unfortunately my area isn’t served by VM. Sadly, I’ll just have to wait. Until then a man can dream.

    • VM Customer

      Except you’d pay a lot more than £24.99 and £4 extra to get the vivid 350??

      It would be something like £42 – £53 depending on new customer offer at the time and whether stand alone broadband only or part of a bundle with discount?

      So unclear how you think £4 on top of your current £24.99 would be the total sum under Virgin Media?

    • un4h731x0rp3r0m

      I imagine with his slow BT based product he would be happy to trade that £24.99 2Mb service for a £27 50Mb service. Which would be within his £4 difference for a connection 25 times faster than what he currently has to put up with.

      £42-53 you quote for 350Mb im sure he would also be happy with if you can calculated out how much per Mb that is and how much per Mb he currently has to pay.

    • davidj

      If value for people is down to speed and cost per Mb from the big providers i do not know of anyone doing anything cheaper per Mb than VM currently.

      If someone does know of any better in regards to combo of speed and price please let me know. I am looking for a new provider and only have a couple shortlisted at the moment. Faster the better and cheaper then better, for initial suggestions and i will investigate further from there. My area has LLU, BT and VM services but no altnets in it.

    • Simon

      yes £42 for me and then £48 after the contract ends.

    • Jerry

      @VM Customer

      You misinterpreted what I said. I meant that if I was paying X amount for a circa 350Mbps package I would not complain at a £4 price rise, it’s merely the cost of a Costa coffee and a bloody sandwich. Pittance.

      @un4h731x0rp3r0m

      Precisely what I meant. Unfortunately I’m unable to achieve such speeds because the infrastructure isn’t there.

      In general £50 a month really isn’t a lot for what you get. Especially considering the cost per mbps that some people have to pay.

  12. James Mark

    I had enough now price increase each year I only been using less than 100gb each month on my 350meg connection.
    I will download usenet 24/7 again hit them hard with 20tb each month

    • un4h731x0rp3r0m

      I doubt they will care and you will achieve nothing. I imagine they have students doing several TB’s every month. Good luck with whatever logic or hope you have in doing so though.

    • Simon

      Been there done that James Mark, sorry I mean Max 🙂

      They didn’t give a fig – and I am sure they won’t again – but don’t cry because you got the wrong package hey!?

    • CarlT

      Can’t help but think you chose the wrong package given your usage is well below the UK average across all connections and is equivalent to using the connection fully for less than 35 minutes a month.

      Surprised you’ve gone with it again though given your ongoing Plusnet worship. I suspect you’ll cancel it before cooling off period again and keep your discounted, referral reduced Plusnet service, especially given you recontracted fairly recently.

      It’s a better fit for your usage anyway.

    • CarlT

      Incidentally probably a bad idea claiming to have only been using 100GB a month on 350Mb when elsewhere you posted that it was only installed in the past couple of days.

    • Simon

      I assume you mean Max? sorry I mean James Mark? 🙂

    • dean

      He really should had took that year off to sort his own admitted mental problems.

    • Simon

      Is that the OTHER white him? :p

  13. Toby O'Broen

    Customer of 8 years on broadband package only. No phone. No tv. 70mb only! My price increase is £3.50! Sounds little but my bill for 70mb is now £40! You lot above seriously think this is justifiable? New features it claims. I have never used one feature apart from facebook and turbosquid!

    This is digusting! ITV vs Virgin and we now pay for it! I don’t even own a tv license! Why should I pay for your cock up? Been a loyal customer almost 10 years now and each time the price went up I said ok. But now its time to leave. You guys are money grabbing bastards! Terrorists are nicer than you guys!

    I hope your company sinks and falls faster than Mark Zuckerberg can suck a lolly!

    Bye

    • un4h731x0rp3r0m

      Price rise is the same as other providers which raise prices around September time. Nothing to do with the rest of your ranting nonsense.

    • Simon

      Well you win the award for pointless rant of the year – well done.

      It’s your fault you are still paying for 70Mbps and not changed your package – no I don’t agree but at least you are free to leave penalty free as a result . For reference I pay £60 for 80mbps with a 2TB limit.

      Bye

  14. Aled

    For £29.99 I get a 50mbs average speed from BT. It also came with a £120 pre-paid debit card for the new account, so it is worth shopping around.

    50mbs has been great so far with 4K UHD. We were on Sky before so I feel a bit daft changing from one BT provider to another – but to double our speed for £10pm less was a bit of a no-brainer.

    • un4h731x0rp3r0m

      “For £29.99 I get a 50mbs average speed from BT.”

      I think you will find that currently for £29.99 that is their special offer for the “average 36Mb” product not 50Mb.
      (50Mb is £35.99 per month increasing to £52.49 after the contract).

      The price after contract on the “average 36Mb” product at £29.99 increases to £44.49. Not cheap compared to other deals around either before or after the contract period price increase.

      Likewise i see no offer for a £120 voucher currently on any BT product.
      No idea what product or offer you are on and would be shocked if they ever offered £120 vouchers on the lower and not upper tier products.

    • Simon

      Well if you went from Sky to BT Aled you went from Sky network to BT network as that’s the only way they do it – and no it was not silly I used to go to BT get the rewards wait for the rise move away and come back – did that for years – with cashback too it’s a nice little legal earner 🙂

  15. Carl T

    Networks don’t overbuild themselves to provide extra space for a 3.1 channel downstream and 6 SC-QAM upstreams per service group.

    They are spending quite a bit purely on licences as both 32 SC-QAMs and 96 MHz of OFDM carriers downstream aren’t free and neither are the 38.4 MHz of return SC-QAMs.

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