When you sign up for a broadband deal it’s reasonable to expect that the price you see advertised is what you’ll pay for the entire length of the contract.
But that isn’t always the case and it’s not uncommon to find that the cost of your service goes up in the middle of the deal.
Why does this happen, and what can you do about it? This guide will explain what you need to know about broadband price rises.
Why has my broadband price gone up?
There are several reasons why your broadband price may increase.
- Inflation. Broadband providers may increase the price mid-contract in line with the rate of inflation.
- Expiration of a discount rate. Some broadband deals offer a lower price for a limited time. For example, a deal may be priced at £20 for the first three months, then £25 for the remainder of the contract. It is also standard to have a lower price for the entire length of a new contract, so costs may go up once your initial deal has ended.
- New features or services. Your provider may deploy some new broadband technology and upgrade your speed, remove or increase download restrictions, or add features such as a TV service. A price rise may accompany changes to the service.
- New pricing structure. There is a change to the provider’s overall price structure, and it impacts the cost of some or all its deals. While this may sometimes only come into effect when your contract term ends, it may also be applied to existing deals.
What happens when my broadband price changes?
When the price of your broadband subscription is changed, you will be notified at least 30 days in advance. Direct Debit withdrawals will be adjusted automatically to match the new charge.
Can I cancel for free due to a broadband price increase?
You always have a right to cancel a broadband service, but it may come at a cost. Whether or not you will have to pay a penalty for early termination of the contract depends on why the price is increasing.
If the price has gone up because your deal has a short-term discount which is coming to an end, you will almost certainly have to pay a fee to end the contract.
However, if the provider has raised prices for any other reason, and the increase is higher than the rate of inflation, then you have a right to cancel without charge.
You can also cancel for free at any time if you outside the minimum contract term of your deal. If you’re in that situation, it’s always worth looking at what other deals are out there even if you don’t care about the price increase, as there’s an excellent chance you can save some money.
How do I cancel and switch broadband?
To take advantage of your free cancellation right, you must notify the provider within 30 days of being told about a price increase.
If you are moving from an Openreach (BT telephone line) network like TalkTalk, Sky, or BT to one that uses a different network (such as Virgin Media or Hyperoptic), then you will need to contact the ISP to cancel. You can phone them or send an email or letter.
If you are switching between Openreach line providers (moving from BT to Sky, for example) then you only need to sign up for the new package; your new provider will notify the old ISP of your cancellation.
Get started on your switch right now by entering a postcode to see what other deals are available in your area:
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To learn more about the process, we have an in-depth guide to switching broadband that explains everything.
Broadband providers with a fixed-price guarantee
Not every broadband provider will raise prices in the middle of a contract. There are several which offer a price promise that means the monthly price you see when you sign up will not change during the contract term. On Broadband Genie, we will mention this in the offer details section on our comparison tables, and also note if prices may change during the contract term.
Here are a few deals which include fixed-price guarantees:
It is important to note that price promises usually only apply to the cost of broadband, so providers may still increase costs for line rental, phone calls, and other fees. You might also lose the guarantee if you have to change your broadband package for any reason, such as when moving home. And don't forget that the fixed price will only be in place for the initial contract term; prices can still increase when the contract ends, so make a note of your contract end date and compare new deals when it's due to keep your costs low.