The price of just about everything seems to be soaring at the moment and broadband plans are about to get more expensive for almost everyone. As you can probably guess, it’s due to high inflation but some providers are also blaming regulatory changes.
What this means is that a lot of UK providers will be increasing their prices from 1 April 2023 (and no, it’s not an April Fool’s joke).
Even if you’re already in the middle of a contract, your prices might still go up, which could be a shock for many.
Which broadband providers are hiking prices from April 2023?
Here are the providers that have confirmed price hikes going into April, and the percentage the monthly bills will rise by:
- BT – 14.4% (Starting 31 March 2023)
- Virgin Media – 13.8%
- Vodafone – 14.4%
- TalkTalk – 14.2%
- Community Fibre – 13%
- Shell Energy Broadband – 13.5%
- Plusnet – 14.4% (Happening on 31 March 2023)
- EE – 14.4% (Happening on 31 March 2023)
- Sky – 8.1%
Your broadband provider should contact you about the change. However, some packages are exempt from the hikes. For example, if you’re on universal credit or living off your pension, your prices may not go up.
If you will be hit with higher bills, you might be able to avoid it by switching broadband providers and getting a cheaper deal. Alternatively you might be able to sign up for a new contract with your current provider now before those price rises. However, do make sure that you won’t get stung with the increases once on that new contract.
To see which providers serve your address and the speeds and prices on offer, you can see the best broadband deals available right now in our comparison tool below:
Below, we’ve listed providers below which are offering cheaper deals for those signing up just before April. It certainly seems unfair to customers who signed up in February or before that which will be affected by the hikes, but cannot switch without paying early exit fees.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
How to avoid the BT price hike
BT’s mid-contract price rises apply to residential broadband customers who signed up after September 2020, but not if you’re on the Home Essentials, Home Phone Saver and Basic plans.
The BT’s forum page states that if you sign up or renew before 31 March 2023, then you may be able to avoid this year’s 14.4% price hike and lock in for a lower package for longer. You can find all the ways to contact a sales representative on BT’s help page.
According to Uswitch, it is unlikely that customers will be able to cancel without an early termination fee, unless you’ve been in the contract for two years or more – in which case, you may be able to switch or cancel before the price hike comes into effect.
Find out more details on BT’s exit fees.
You can cancel or switch by calling 0800 783 1401.
How to avoid the Virgin Media price hike
Virgin Media has confirmed that customers can switch or cancel their plans free of charge if they are affected by the price hikes coming on 1 April 2023 for some packages, and 1 May 2023 for others.
However, you will only have a limited window to do so. Virgin Media confirmed on Twitter that it is contacting customers up until 27 March 2023. Once you’ve been contacted, you’ll have 30 days to either switch plans, or cancel providers without incurring any exit fees.
You can cancel or adjust your package by calling Virgin on 0345 454 1111.
How to avoid the Sky price hike
Sky’s price hike will be affecting most broadband and TV customers in the country, except for those who took out a long-term Sky Glass or Sky Stream contract on or after 18 October 2022 (monthly rolling contracts aren’t included in this). Those on Sky’s Broadband Basics plan are also unaffected.
Although there isn’t a way to lock in for a lower price, you can cancel without a penalty, even if you’re mid contract. However, you must do so within 30 days of first being contacted about the price hike. It can also be worth ringing to see if Sky will lower the cost to retain you.
You can do this by contacting Sky on 0333 759 1230. There’s further information on its help pages.
How to avoid the Vodafone price hike
Vodafone is allowing customers to lock in for the lower prices this March, providing you sign up before the price hike in April.
You can do this on Vodafone’s website, or by going to your nearest Vodafone store. If you’re mid-contract and signed up before 24 February 2023, then you will likely have to pay an exit fee. You can cancel or switch your contract either via the online chat, or by calling 0333 304 0191.
How to avoid the TalkTalk broadband price hike
TalkTalk is another provider that is allowing customers to lock in for a lower price this month before 1 April 2023. All you need to do is sign up for a contract on TalkTalk’s website.
If you’re an existing TalkTalk customer who signed up before 2 March 2023, then unfortunately you will be affected by the price hike and won’t be able to exit without paying a penalty. You can explore your options by calling 0345 172 0088.
How to avoid the Community Fibre price hike
Community Fibre has confirmed on its help pages that anyone who takes out a broadband contract between 1 January 2023 and 1 April 2023 will not be subject to the price rise for the first year of the contract. You can sign up for Community Fibre’s packages on the website.
If you signed up before that, then a price hike may be coming – and you may have to pay a penalty for cancelling. You can explore your options by calling 0800 082 0770.
Community Fibre has informed Tech Advisor that these price hikes will be capped at £3.50 per month, and will not be applied to any customers on the Essential Social Tariff or supplementary services.
How to avoid the Shell Energy Broadband price hike
Shell is allowing customers to lock in at the lower prices this March. Plus, if you sign up on Shell’s website in the next few weeks, you’ll get free broadband for a month.
If you’re an existing customer who signed up before 9 January 2023, then you can’t avoid the price hike. You can cancel your account by calling Shell on 0330 094 5801, but there may be some exit fees involved.
My broadband provider isn’t listed. Can I avoid the price hike?
Providers that aren’t shown above (but are increasing prices) have not said if it’s possible to avoid the price hikes.
You can try contacting your provider to discuss your contract or try switching to one of the broadband providers listed above that are offering cheaper contracts before 1 April 2023.
For more money-saving hacks during the cost-of-living crisis, you can also check out what we know about the Utrack money back scheme, and find out how an air fryer could save you money.