Broadband users across the UK are being warned to check their contracts immediately or face some serious bill shock. As many might be aware, broadband firms usually offer enticing discounts in a bid to get customers to sign up for their services. However, once the initial deal ends, things can jump considerably with some prices rising by as much as 50 percent.
These hikes aren’t anything new but it’s thought that tens of thousands could be about to be hit by this rise unless they sort a new deal quickly. According to the team at Uswitch, a large number of consumers are coming to the end of their 18-month term.
That’s because, on 23 March 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the very first Covid-19 lockdown. That forced millions to stay at home and prompted many to get their broadband contracts in order and switch to much faster speeds. These deals often usually last for 18 months meaning many could be coming to the end of that discount.
As an example of just how bad things could get for the monthly finances later this month, just look at what some Virgin Media users face.
Customers who took out an 18-month Virgin Media M100 Ultrafast Fibre Broadband & Phone deal currently pay £26 a month, but this almost doubles to £51 a month when the deal expires. That’s a rise of £300 a year!
And it’s not just Virgin users who should be worried with Sky, BT and most other Internet Service Providers also putting up prices after the initial period ends. That means now is a really good time to grab your contract check when it finishes and see how much extra you’ll pay in the future.
If it’s a vast increase then you can try haggling with your current ISP or take your business to a new supplier who will probably offer a discounted rate.
A good example of the deals you can grab right now is Hyperoptic who has just announced an offer that includes 1Gbps speeds for just £20 per month.
Speaking about the hike, Catherine Hiley, broadband expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Lockdown was the first time that most of us had to work from home, socialise with friends and family on video calls, and stream endless hours of content. And it didn’t take long for people to realise their broadband was not up to scratch.
“In the weeks around the PM’s announcement, Uswitch saw a huge rise in the number of people signing up to broadband deals that got them a faster, more reliable connection.
“18 months later, many of these deals are coming to an end, and it’s important that you don’t get caught out as you face being shifted onto suppliers’ more expensive standard tariffs.
“Deals from TalkTalk and Virgin Media were some of the most popular 18-month contracts with consumers at the time, so if you’re with one of these firms, check your paperwork.
“If you receive your end of contract notification, or think your broadband deal is ending soon, do a comparison online to see what better prices and speeds you could be getting.”