My broadband provider has raised its prices, do I have to pay?

If you shopped around for hours finding the perfect broadband package, it's infuriating when you get that dreaded letter through the door notifying you that your monthly broadband bill is going to increase in price.

You're not wrong to feel angry about this - when you agree to a package it's understandable that you expect to get what you signed up for.

Unfortunately, a broadband provider may be able to alter the terms and conditions of your original contact.

Providers ARE allowed to raise prices

It CAN raise contract prices this as long as it follows certain Ofcom rules. If the price hike comes at a detriment to you, they must give you one month's notice of the price hike.

At the same time, your broadband provider must inform you that you are entitled to terminate the contract without charge, if you decide that the increase isn't acceptable.

Why might the price of your broadband go up?

Your provider will give you an explanation to explain why it is changing the terms and conditions of your original contact and therefore raising its prices. There are typically a few standard reasons it will give:

  • Inflation Everything gets more and more expensive and so do your providers expenses. It deals with this by putting the burden on its customers.
  • A price shake up Your provider has possibly had a big price shake up, and the tariff you are on has now changed.
  • New and improved services Your provider may have updated its offering to you and will change its pricing to accommodate that. This may mean faster speeds, a better TV package, cloud storage etc.

If you think that these reasons are not good enough, or you don't want to pay for benefits you didn't ask for - there are things you can do.

You can haggle

If you are really unhappy with your price hike, and would be prepared to switch - call up your provider and get haggling.

Tell them you find this price hike unacceptable, and that you didn't want the new TV packages etc. If you are not that happy with other parts of your provider's service (speeds etc) - now would be a good time to mention it.

You don't want to waste time with the customer service representative - you want to be put through to the retention team ASAP - as they have the power to offer you the very best discounts.

Tell them that you are now thinking about leaving, you'll then be put through to retentions and the odds are it will do what they can to keep you.

If you are still not happy, you can always switch to a better and cheaper broadband provider.

You CAN cancel for FREE

It's incredibly annoying, sure - but Ofcom has your back here, and you're perfectly entitled to cancel if your provider has changed the terms of your original contact.

Within 30 days of being notified of the price increase, contact your provider by phone, letter or email and tell them you want to cancel.

You will hear from salespeople who will likely offer you a better deal than you have now - but if you are not interested and still want to change broadband provider, stick to your guns.

Tell them that the price increase is your reason for leaving, and make sure they confirm you are not going to incur any costs for leaving. Then get a confirmation date for when they final payment will be taken.

It's really that easy and often a blessing in disguise because most people who haven't switched for years are on expensive and slow packages.

How to switch

It's incredibly quick, and very easy to switch broadband providers - you just need to make sure you pick the right package.

Think about your usage (it should be on your bills or give your provider a call and it will tell you) and then use an Ofcom-accredited comparison tool to find the ideal package for your needs, taking into account your usage habits and budget.

You don't need to cancel your contract with your current provider you're leaving - your new one you do all the legwork for you.

Some contracts are reduced in price if you already have services with the supplier.

For example, if you have BT Broadband, you save £5 per month on a BT Mobile SIM, or if you add an additional EE SIM to your account you can save money too.

Select any of the products you already have below to ensure that you find the best deals available.
The UK has four licenced network operators: EE, Telefonica UK (O2), Three and Vodafone providing services using a variety of mobile technologies.

There are a number of other companies that provide mobile network services such as Tesco, giffgaff and Virgin. These are known as MVNO (mobile virtual network operators) which lease network capability from one of the four licenced operators.

These are all listed below so you can determine which of the four network operators provides service.

EE O2 Three Vodafone
ASDA giffgaff ID Mobile Lebara
BT Mobile Lycamobile Three Sainsburys
co-op O2 Talkmobile
EE Tesco Mobile Vodafone
Family mobile
The People's Operator
Utility Warehouse
Virgin Mobile