Triple inflation-busting bill blow for households as Sky, O2 and Virgin Media raise prices by as much as 11.7% a year
- Sky is hiking broadband costs by up to £43 extra per year
- Virgin Media and O2 are increasing mobile bills by up to 11.7% overall
- RPI jumped to 7.8% and typical O2 customer will see bills increase by £48
Millions of broadband and mobile customers with Sky, O2 and Virgin Media could see price hikes of up to £50 per year from April in another bill blow to households.
Those with Sky will see a substantial increase on their annual bills, with prices rising by an average of £43 for broadband and mobile, it confirmed today.
O2 and Virgin Media also announced newly raised prices would go up £48 per year for a typical pay monthly mobile customer, an 11.7 per cent increase on current prices.
It comes at a worrying time for many households struggling with the rising cost of living with energy bills reaching record highs, alongside higher fuel and food prices.
It’s a triple whammy as Sky, Virgin Media and O2 announced their price increases by up to £48 per household bill inline with soaring inflation rates not seen since 1992.
Inflation has soared to 5.5 per cent, the highest rates since March 1992 which is putting pressure on household finances.
Some firms link their annual rises to the retail price index figure for January plus 3.9 per cent. This month, RPI is 7.8 per cent – far higher than the CPI measure.
Sky are one of the latest companies to announce their annual price increases, with mobile, broadband and landline customers expected to take the hit.
Prices are expected to jump up by up to £3.60 per month, depending on the packages.
Its Signature TV package will rises to £27 a month and their cinema pass to an additional £12 per month.
BT Sport it also increasing their prices by £1 a month to £28, while broadband customers face a £2.50 monthly jump to £30.50 from April.
Landline customers are also facing increases of 2p per minute to 22p from May.
A Sky spokesperson said that customers who are affected by the price increase should be expecting to hear an update before March 24, by email or post.
Sky price changes
Prices are expected to rise by up to £43 a year for broadband and mobile customers:
Sky Signature to increase by £1 to £27
Sky Cinema to increase by £1 to £12
BT Sport to increase by £1 to £28
Broadband Essential to increase by £2.50 to £27.50
Broadband Superfast to increase by £2.50 to £30.50
HD to increase by £1 to £8
Talk rates (UK landlines and mobiles) to increase by 2p per minute to 22p
It added: ‘We know price increases are never welcome so we aim to keep prices as low as possible while still delivering the content customers love, the flexibility to choose the right package, and our leading customer service.’
It also encouraged customers who are struggling with the cost of household bills to get in touch to discuss the options available.
The telecoms giant also said that while overall prices are increasing, its EU data roaming would see a significant price drop.
It announced a reintroduction of EU roaming costs with a £2 daily price cap, with non-EU countries such as the US, Australia and South Africa seeing a price cap dropping from £6 a day to £2.
Ernest Doku, a telecoms expert at Uswitch, said: ‘Sky does not base their mid-contract rises on inflation, but any hopes that customers might be spared the pain of increases have been dashed.
‘These latest rises from Sky will affect almost one million subscribers, adding a reported average of £43 to their annual bill, which is an unwanted burden during a time when households are feeling the pinch from bill hikes across the board.
‘Sky’s broadband and TV price rises will kick in on April 1, so there is still time to avoid these changes if you’re not happy with the new cost.
‘Broadband customers still in the minimum term of their contract can leave penalty-free if they act within 30 days of receiving their notification, which should come by post or email before 24 March.’
Meanwhile, jointly-owned operators O2 and Virgin Media have announced a similar increase for mobile customers, with prices creeping upwards to 11.7 per cent.
A spokesperson from O2 suggested that a majority of customers will experience the standard 7.8 per cent increase, as the additional 3.9 per cent is only applied to monthly customers who joined or upgraded after 25th March.
It added that Virgin customers would have been alerted to the changes in January and were given the option to cancel their contract, penalty free.
An O2 spokesperson said: ‘We recognise price changes are never welcome, and always balance keeping our prices competitive with the need to continue investing in the services that our customers use and love.
‘For most customers the price increase only applies to the airtime part of their bill and with our most popular tariffs costing from as little as 33p per day for superfast data with unlimited minutes and texts, our customers receive incredible value as well as extra perks such as Priority.’
Ernest Doku suggests that customers should take the opportunity to shop around to ensure you get the best price’s available for your broadband and mobile.
The telecoms expert added: ‘If you want to switch to an alternative broadband provider, run an online comparison to see what other deals are available in your area.
‘It’s also worth considering NOW TV packages if you want to continue enjoying Sky TV without committing to a long contract.
‘For those currently out of contract, it is even more important to consider your options as you will likely be able to save about a hundred pounds a year by switching to a new deal – on top of avoiding this price rise.
‘Alternatively, if you’d rather stay with your provider, get in touch with Sky as you may be able to change your services and reduce your monthly bill.’