VIRGIN Media customers have shared how they've saved up to £276 a year on bills and how to beat its latest price hike of up to £54 a year.
Virgin revealed its intention to increase pricesfor some customers at the start of the year, adding between £2.50 and £4.50 to monthly bills.
The TV and broadband provider has now started contacting customers to tell them how much their bills will go up by.
Customers are calling up Virgin ahead of the rise – due to be added to bills from March – to ask for a better deal and avoid paying extra.
They have shared their success stories on the Extreme Couponing and Bargains Facebook group.
Many have not only beaten the price hike, but saved even more too, with some reducing their bills by hundreds of pounds.
Virgin Media customers’ top tips for haggling prices
HERE are Virgin Media customers’ top tips for haggling a better deal:
- Ignore the automated option to discount your bill for six months – speak to someone directly
- Don't speak to customer service – ask to be put through to the cancellations department, as this is where the deals are offered
- Search for a better deal elsewhere and switch if Virgin don't offer you a good deal
- Check what you're getting – if you're paying for a service you don't use, ask to change it as it could work out cheaper
One customer said in a post: "Bit of advice for anyone else annoyed with the huge Virgin price hike….. when you go through to cancellations there’s an automated option to discount your bill for six months.
"I’m not sure if this applies to everyone but it’s worth a try! My price increase was £4.50 and that’s the discount I was offered."
Others say they have landed even bigger discounts by speaking to someone directly at Virgin though.
One commenter warned: "That automatic discount is a pittance. I ignored it and told them I was cancelling.
"They offered me a better discount that I refused. I went through to cancellation aka customer retention and got a discount of half price."
Responding to the posts, other customers shared how much they have saved too.
One said: "My Virgin bill was about to rise to almost £45 for 100mb broadband-only so called up last week and got offered £29 for 18 months."
They saved themselves £16 a month which adds up to £192 a year.
Another customer saved £10 a month, or £120 a year, just by asking.
They said: "We called them and got the initial discount like you said then asked if they could do anything else, we got it down by £10 in the end by just calling them. Same package just £10 cheaper."
One customer saved himself a whopping £23 a month – or £276 a year.
He decided to call Virgin after receiving a letter saying his monthly bill would increase by £3.50 a month.
He said his bill was going to rise to £58 a month for broadband, basic TV and phone.
Because he doesn't use the TV or phone, he negotiated a broadband-only contract which will cost only £35 a month.
How to save on broadband and TV bills
HERE’S how to save money on your broadband and TV bills:
Audit your subscriptions
If you've got multiple subscriptions to various on-demand services, such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Sky consider whether you need them all.
Could you even just get by with Freeview, which couldn't cost you anything extra each month for TV.
Also make sure you're not paying for Netflix twice via Sky and directly.
Haggle for a discount
If you want to stay with your provider, check prices elsewhere to set a benchmark and then call its customer services and threaten to leave unless it price matches or lowers your bill.
Switch and save
If you don't want to stay with your current provider check if you can cancel your contract penalty free and switch to a cheaper provider.
A comparison site, such as BroadbandChoices or Uswitch, will help you find the best deal for free.
Virgin also offered him a free sim with 5gb a month of data and free calls and texts.
He said: “Get on the phone people worth it. Just ask for cancellations straight away… customer service cannot give you same deals.”
Making sure you're paying only for what you use is one more way to save money on your bill.
But not everyone has had success.
"Yes my bill is going up too I am not happy about it, they said they can’t lower my bill," said one unlucky caller.
Another customer said: "Had a letter from Virgin Media this week. They are putting the price of our contract up. Phoned them to see if they could reduce it. Nope."
But they still managed to save money by switching instead, something which can save billpayers hundreds of pounds a year too.
The same commenter explained: "Phoned Sky to see if they could do us a deal. Getting Sky TV, broadband and phone line along with Sky Go AND Netflix top subscription. For half the price of Virgin.
"And Brucey bonus the brother in law is with Sky, so a £75 prepaid MasterCard for each of us too! Shop around people! Don’t take the first price as gold!"
Haggling with your current broadband provider has a 75% success rate according to Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert.
He said that providers have to tell you the best deals available for renewals, but this doesn't include the promotional deals offered elsewhere to new customers.
Before calling your provider you should check the best deals out there from all providers and ask them to match the best one.
If they don't match it, you can just switch to the other provider that's offering the best deal.
Virgin isn't the only one putting up prices.
Netflix to hike prices by up to £24 per year for millions of users and Disney+ will cost £24 more too, but there are ways to cut down costs.
A Virgin Media spokesperson said: “Through continued investment, improvement and innovation we’re committed to providing great value and a top service for our customers.
“Over the last year our customers have used their connectivity more than ever before, with data use increasing at the fastest rate we’ve ever seen.
"We’re already investing more than £1bn in our network each year and consistently give our customers more megabits for their money, but to help meet this demand we do sometimes need to review our prices.
“Changing prices is never an easy decision, which is why, unlike other providers, this is our first cable price change in 18 months.
"We are currently writing to cable customers to transparently communicate these changes and we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure we deliver for our customers and keep them connected at a time when it has never been more important.”
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