A price hike from the UK ISP and energy provider Utility Warehouse is set to hit customers on October 1st, 2018.
The cost of their phone and broadband package will increase because of changes to the line rental service.
The cost of a phone line will increase from £16.50 to £18 a month, including VAT. This 8.33% rise in cost coincides with the day that the Caller Display feature, which previously cost £2 a month, will become free. On top of this, the call set-up fees will increase to 19.2p per call. UW’s fixed line broadband bundles will all be impacted by the price change.
Ofcom plans to introduce new consumer regulations on the first of the month. These aim to protect the consumer against nuisance and cold calls, improve complaints processes and implement free Caller ID services – hence the removal of the fee for UW’s Caller Display feature.
These tweaks to the regulations have however pushed several internet service providers to increase prices. Providers are justifying price hikes based on the fact that wholesale suppliers are still charging for use of caller ID services.
Protection Against Price Hikes
Thankfully, Ofcom regulations protect customers from any mid-contract price hikes. These rules mean that you are likely to be able to exit your contract penalty fee within 30 days of the notification of any price hike.
This could also be an opening to barter for a lower price, or to switch providers.
Many people are put off from switching due to perceived complications like swapping routers, or complex switching procedures. However, it has been estimated that more than 10 million people are stuck in deals where there is an automatic price increase at the end of their minimum contract periods.
Ofcom has previously proposed that providers be compelled to inform people who are reaching the end of their minimum contract period.
This is the best time to switch. Figures estimate that between around 30% and 50% of the broadband market is out of contract, but have not switched provider, and are “sleeping”.
If you have a package with landline and broadband, you’re likely to pay an average of 20% more when out of contract.
Because the best deals are more often offered to new subscribers, you can make huge savings by switching, or haggling after a contract ends. If your contract is coming to an end, or if your provider has recently announced a price hike, run a quick broadband comparison using our free tool and see how much you could save by switching to a new plan.