Britons could ‘bag better deal’ on broadband before 8.8% price hike – but families could face £692 exit fee

Britons could ‘bag better deal’ on broadband before 8.8% price hike – but families could face £692 exit fee

Dr Roger Gewolb discusses impact of inflation on economy

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 01/03/2024

- 19:18

Broadband and mobile phone contracts are expected to rise for many customers in Spring 2024

Britons could switch broadband and mobile phone providers to “bag a better deal” ahead of above-inflation contract prices of up to 8.8 per cent, but many could be hit with exit fees of up to £692.

Virgin Media O2, BT, EE and Plusnet are among companies under fire for increasing the costs of services in the coming months.

Households have been saddled with inflation-hiked prices for goods and services amid the cost of living crisis.

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation remained at four per centt, however households are facing hikes of up 8.8 per cent on their broadband bills.

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Couple on laptop and pounds

Broadband customers face bill hikes later this year


Research from Which? found a customer with Virgin Media for their broadband and O2 for their mobile could face a combined exit fee of up to £692.37.

This figure was calculated on the basis that the same customer had 12 months still remaining on their contracts.

Customers of Virgin Media have transitioned over to the O2 when the providers merged with bundled deals being on offer.

Christie Cook, the managing director of retail at Hodge, expressed concern over the recent news of broadband and mobile prices raising by up to 8.8 per cent, affecting millions of UK households.

Notably, the consumer expert highlighted that these coming price hikes will likely impact remote workers the most.

She explained: "As it stands, O2 phone plan subscribers will face the steepest increase at 8.8 per cent, while BT, EE, and Plusnet customers will see their broadband and mobile plans rise by 7.9 per cent.

“Conversely, Shell customers will experience the lowest increase at just six per cent. These proposed increases are set for Spring 2024, potentially costing consumers up to £36 more annually.”

Ms Cook added: “Our own research shows that more than 30 per cent of individuals have reduced spending on monthly subscriptions in the past 12 months to cope with rising costs.

“Households can put away spare change from as little as 70p a week to cover these extra costs coming in Spring.

“The real question here is whether UK households are going to switch their current provider ahead of the March 31 to bag a better deal."

A Virgin Media O2 spokesperson told GB News: “2023 was a record year for traffic on our networks as customers used our mobile and broadband services more than ever.

"We are investing heavily to ensure we continue to provide the fast and reliable connectivity our customers rely on, and the amount we receive from price increases is greatly outweighed by the £5m we invest every single day to upgrade our networks and services to give customers a better overall experience.

“Which?’s own analysis shows that we continue to offer excellent value, with cable customers paying an average of just 10p more per day, and mobile customers facing an effective average increase of just 5p a day, for services they’re using almost constantly.

"This is further backed up by recent independent analysis which found that the cost of telecoms services has fallen by a fifth since 2017, while at the same time speeds and usage have increased significantly.”

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