Martin Lewis recently shared the grim news that most broadband providers are increasing their monthly bills by around 14 per cent this Spring putting even more pressure on household budgets during the cost of living crisis. However, the consumer champion offered a ray of hope for people who subscribe to Virgin Media for TV, broadband or home phone packages.
During the latest edition of the Martin Lewis Podcast on radio 5 Live, the financial guru explained that Virgin Media customers may be able to reduce their monthly bills despite a looming price hike. He shared a little-known fact that Virgin Media contracts do not contain a clause about mid-contract price rises, which means customers can leave within 30 days of notification of the increase completely penalty-free.
However, people with Virgin Media who enjoy the services it provides may not want to leave and Martin is encouraging them to take his advice and haggle for a better deal.
If the thought of haggling puts you off, it’s worth noting that in a recent poll, the founder of MoneySavingExpert.com said that Virgin Media was the “number one” provider for getting a result through haggling with a whopping 85 per cent success rate.
Martin told Podcast listeners: “For anyone who is a customer of Virgin Media. It has announced, like many of the other firms, it’s going to do around 14 per cent price hikes mid-contract this coming Spring - April or May is the likely time.
“This applies to broadband, TV and home phone, we don’t yet have an announcement about mobile but that could well happen too.
“The big difference between Virgin Media and most of the other companies who are doing these price hikes is it does not say in the contracts that it can do inflation-based price hikes and that means that you can leave penalty-free once it’s notified you.”
He continued: ‘You need to be watching out for its official notification because that starts the clock ticking and you have 30 days after that you can leave the contract penalty-free.
“Many of you may not want to leave, although I would always do a quick check on a comparison website to see what other equivalent deal you could get as many people who are out of contract are overpaying substantially.
“If you don’t want to leave, you can use it as ammunition to haggle with Virgin Media saying ‘well I can get much cheaper prices elsewhere I’d like to stay with you, I’d like you to match it so that I can stay’ and as we’ve talked about before of the best place to do that is customer disconnections, which internally is known as ‘customer retentions’.”
He also said that to get the best results, you should “always be polite and charming” and never use aggression as that “tends not to work”.
He added: “In the latest haggling poll I did, of people who try to haggle, the success rate of Virgin Media, it was actually number one, 85 per cent success, so you may well be able to bring your price down substantially.”
An additional tip members of the Daily Record Money Saving Scotland Facebook group have had success with is looking at the latest deals on offer and finding one that is lower than your current package before making the call to your provider to haggle.
This way, they will know you’re familiar with the best deals.
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