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Price rises for Virgin customers


Hot on the heels of a battle to retain TV channels and customers, Virgin Media is now increasing prices.

An average 4.5% increase in prices is due this autumn, with customers expected to pay between £2 and £4 a month more, depending on the services they take.

But Virgin Media has been keen to stress that the changes, which will affect fixed line broadband, phone and TV subscribers, “have nothing to do with the recent agreement we have reached with UKTV to restore its channels", but that the decision pre-dates the conclusion of the negotiations. During the bitter dispute, which spilled out into the public domain over a three-week period, Virgin's previous price rises had been used as an argument to imply that Virgin could afford to pay UKTV more. ITV also briefly threatened to remove its channels from the platform. Following the end of the UKTV dispute, Virgin TV users will gain access to more boxsets and additional HD content from UKTV. The dispute led many customers to call Virgin to leave or renegotiate a new price.

Customers are being notified from today informing them of how the price increases will affect them personally.

Virgin Media says:
 “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."

Virgin Media is not alone in increasing prices above inflation. BT and Sky are also notorious for frequent above-inflation price rises, with savvy users maximising the use of new customer discounts and promotions by switching providers at the end of their contract period.

How do the price rises stack up in relation to the cost of living?
The UK's Consumer Price Index Inflation rate is 2.5% (as announced this week), average wage increases are 2.7% (June figures), but with large differences between average 11% annual increases for executive pay and 1.7% for worker's wages.
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