January 19, 2023

How much will YOUR broadband go up in price?

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Online calculator reveals how inflation-busting 14.4% hike will affect monthly bills for customers with Sky, BT, EE and other suppliers from April - adding £100 to average contract.

A new online calculator will show how much extra families will have to pay for internet service over the next two years as suppliers rise contract prices.

Experts predict broadband providers will increase internet costs by a massive 14.4 per cent in April, as permitted by Ofcom rules.

The agreement allows companies to raise charges by the rate of inflation - which is now 10.5 per cent - plus an additional 3.9 per cent on top. 

Now, as families battle the crippling energy crisis and cost-of-living crisis, industry experts have developed a free online took that will show customers the increase in monthly charges and how much more they will pay across the life of their contract.

To use the calculator, simply select your broadband provider, and the details of your contract, to find out how much your monthly bill could go up.

The free online calculator, developed in partnership with full fibre broadband provider Hyperoptic, uses inflation rates, direct information from consumers and the the small print in customers' broadband contracts to calculate price rises.

With average internet bills being around £40 per month, millions of Britons can expect to pay over£100 more than they had bargained for during their contract.

Householders in London can expect to pay even more, the tool has revealed.

Similarly, customers who secured their contract during Black Friday or New Year sales likely to be hit by two price rises on the same contract. 

Researchers say the price rises will vary by provider and contract terms.

Sky and Now customers are expected to see a 10 per cent price increase, aligning with approximate inflation. 

Virgin Media contract holders are expected to see a fixed increase in costs - in line with previous behaviour with inflation applied. 

Hyperoptic claims the calculator will allow for customers to determine 'exactly what extra charges they will be hit with from April onwards' so that they can prepare for the increase in bills or look to switch providers when their contract expires. 

Experts predict broadband providers will increase internet costs by a massive 14.4 per cent in April, as permitted by Ofcom rules.  Companies can rise charges by the rate of inflation - which is now 10.5 per cent - plus an additional 3.9 percent on top

Hyperoptic - which does not do mid-contract price rises - claims it is 'unfair and misleading' for broadband companies to offer customers one contract price to then rise theprice just months later.

The company is currently lobbying the Government to outlaw the practice. 

'It's unfair and misleading to let customers buy into a price without clear explanation, only to increase that price months later – especially given the cost-of-living crisis when everyone is trying to budget,' Hyperoptic's Chief Customer Officer Lutfu Kitapci told Mail Online.

'This is the last thing people need to contend with in these financially difficult times. Our free calculator will allow people to find out exactly what extra charges they will be hit with from April onwards, so that they can plan for that – and choose a different provider when their contract expires.

'Here at Hyperoptic we have never hiked prices mid-contract. And we are continually campaigning at the highest levels to get this unfair practice changed – if a provider chooses to hit its customers with a mid-contract price rise, then those customers should be free to switch.'

Ofcom, in a statement provided to Mail Online, said that providers 'must treat customers fairly' especially as many households are experiencing an 'exceptional period of hardship.'

'Our rules are clear: everyone must be told upfront about any future price rises before they sign up, and we're investigating whether phone and broadband firms are sticking to this,' an Ofcom spokesperson stated.

'We're also concerned about the transparency of inflation-linked price rises in contracts, and how well they're understood. We're examining this issue to ensure customers' interests are protected.'

MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis issued a stark warning about the anticipated broadband hikes and encouraged householders to 'ditch and switch' their contracts.

He argued that roughly 7million customers are out-of-contract and over paying for their contracts. Mr Lewis encourages those customers to search around for deals with other providers. 

The financial expert, during his ITV Money Show last week, claims haggling customers had' high success rates at many other broadband providers too.'

'Switching... don't worry about it too much,' he argued, claiming the new firm will handle much of the switching process. 

He also encouraged customers still in their contract to try and haggle with their existing provider -alleging 75 per cent of TalkTalk, Virgin and Sky customers have success haggling.

He instructed householders to call their provider and say: 'I've seen what you're charging new customers.'

Mr Lewis said to ask if the provider can offer a better deal and if the sales representative declines, request the customer disconnections department. 

'This is where they can do the big deals,' he explained. 'Always be polite and if they don't give you that price, I would be pretty annoyed and I'd want to ditch and switch and go elsewhere.'

The anticipated April price hikes comes as the UK battles soaring inflation rates.

The annual CPI rate was 10.5per cent in December, down from 10.7 per cent the previous month, officials revealed today. 

It is the second consecutive fall in the index, with experts suggesting the peak has past after the 40 year high of 11.1 per cent in October. It could ease the pressure on the Bank of England to keep increasing interest rates. 

However, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt warned there can be no letting up on efforts to tackle the curse of soaring prices. 

Ministers also vowed to hold firm against a wave of public sector strikes, saying giving in to demands for double-digit pay hikes would risk undoing the progress that has been made. 

Speaking after the figures were announced this morning, Mr Hunt said: 'There is no room for any deviation from our central objective of the year, which is to halve inflation, so that we deal with, for example, the anger of public sector workers who are seeing their pay eroded, we deal with the pressure that pensioners are seeing when they are doing their weekly shop, the pressure on businesses worried sometimes about their viability.

'This has to be our central mission and that's why the Prime Minister has nailed his colours to the mast and said we are going to halve inflation over the next year.'

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