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Ring, ring! Sky hikes line rental prices

The price of Sky’s line rental is increasing by £2.25 per month for everyone, new and existing customers alike. It’s a hefty 18% price rise, from £12.25 to £14.50 a month. So can you get out of your contract?

Over the weekend a letter popped through my door from Sky. After a preamble telling me how satisfied its customers were, the letter got to the point – Sky was writing to tell me that the price of my line rental was going up by £2.25 to £14.50. The rise takes effect on 1 December, but as customers pay a month in advance, the first charge will be in November.

This follows an increase on my Sky TV package of £1.50 per month. Together, the price rises will add £45 on to my yearly bill. That’s a bit much as far as I’m concerned, especially since I’m struggling to keep up with my Sky bills – I have phone, broadband and TV with them.

Can you cancel Sky Talk without charge?

Also, the line rental price rise is 18% higher than it used to be, which is way above the current rate of inflation.

Luckily, I’m outside of my 12 month minimum term with Sky, so I can cancel without penalty. However, the price rise is affecting customers who are still in their minimum term – can they cancel without charge? The Sky call handler I spoke to implied that they would have to pay the remainder of their contract to cancel – that is not true.

A Sky spokesperson told us that ‘if a current customer is not happy with the changes, they are free to move their phone services to another provider without charge’.

How much notice should you give

So you can definitely move on without penalty, but how much notice do you need to give?

One of my colleagues has not long been with Sky, so he gave them a call. The call handler told him that ‘if you want to get out of your contract you could cancel it without penalty if you’re not happy with the price increase […] with 14 days notice’.

When we looked deeper into the Sky Talk contract, we found that you don’t have to give 14 days notice, but just 7 days. It says that if ‘you reasonably consider this to be to your material disadvantage’ you may terminate the contract on 7 day’s notice providing you notify Sky within one calendar month of being told about the price rise.

However, I’d like to provide a slight warning – you’re only eligible to get out of your Sky Talk contract. Contractually, Sky doesn’t have to let you out of your Sky TV contract as well. Even though there was a TV price rise too, it’s too late to notify the company you’d like to leave.

Line rental price rises all round

If you do cancel your line rental with Sky, where do you go? TalkTalk increased its line rental earlier this year, from £13.80 to £14.50, following a previous hike in October 2011. And BT’s also putting up its line rental prices from January 2013 to the even higher £15.45 – BT will let you cancel without penalty if you let them know within 10 days of finding out about the price rise. So, Sky’s line rental is still one of the cheapest.

If you’re not happy with Sky’s price rise (or BT’s) I’d suggest you complain to them over the phone. After expressing your right to cancel, they’ll likely put you through to their retention team. I had a good haggle with Sky and was offered six months half-price line rental, which amounts to £43 in compensation – that was enough to keep me happy.

Of course, there’s still the underlying feeling that these price rises for existing customers aren’t quite right. Do you think it’s right for Sky or BT to hit customers with these price hikes, even if these customers are allowed to leave without penalty?

Comments

I too received this letter and shall be calling to complain as a result. I only pay my line rental out of necessity for my broadband connection, and do not have a phone connected, so it’s not as if I am getting my moneys worth out of it.

I do however think it’s okay for companies to raise their prices, as long as you have the option to leave and move elsewhere. It’s business after all, but don’t force the consumer to pay more.

If you make absolutely NO calls and require a landline purely for broadband use ONLY, then try Primus Line Rental Saver but get it through the HomePhone Choices web site. Primus have just increased their prices already in August 2012, so I would anticipate no further increase before August 2013 at the earliest, and despite the fact I was really miffed at them too for doing so, they are still the cheapest by far in the current market for line rental only… currently £7.49 a month on a 12 month contract.

http://www.homephonechoices.co.uk/

Beck says:
11 October 2012

I’m in two minds about price rises.

I think it is okay for companies to raise charges providing they are clear to the customer about the price increases and the customer is free to give notice without penalty.

Thats not to say I agree companies should raise prices, I’m just saying if they feel they are in a position to have to increase them then they should not be criticised for it. This is especially the case for companies like BT or Sky who invest huge amounts of money in research and development of future products.

What does annoy me are companies like electricity, petrol or gas companies who set their prices based on the cost of fuel – increase the prices as fuel goes up but never seem to reduce the prices as fuel gets cheaper. These are the ones who are robbing us.

Those who try to keep their money away from plcs as a matter of principle could try the Phone Co-op.

Line rental currently £12.50 a month

http://www.thephone.coop/home/

I saw a big ad on the tube for BT this morning. Broadband Evening & Weekend calls, free for 6 months then £13 a month, with line rental from £10.75.

Turns out that ‘from’ is important – pay monthly and it’s £14.60 – 10p more than Sky will be. It’s £10.75 if you buy one year in advance with a ‘one-off, non-refundable payment of £129’.

Of course, BT’s prices are going up in Jan to £15.45 a month – am wondering if it’s worth switching phone and broadband to BT and paying in advance.

I rang sky tdy complain said wanted to leave. Explained reasons why i.e only look after new customers an this raise icing on cake. They have gave me 12 months line rental for £3 a mnth no new contract commitment so am happy with that. Also got 12 mnths h.d half price. I do have full package with them plus multiroom so theyre still doin ok out of me..

Thought id share it

CaptKirk says:
14 October 2012

I’m not clear why people still use land lines. I currently use Virgin broadband and use Vonage’s VOIP (unlimited free “land line” calls) through that broadband connection. The broadband costs around £22 on its own and Vonage another £6. I’m now thinking of moving towards using a cheap PAYG Android phone with Vonage’s VOIP app (there are lots of similar ones) which allows all users of the app to make unlimited free calls (and texts) to each other and a £5 Giffgaff data SIM.

Beck says:
14 October 2012

Its easy to understand why people have landlines – it is a requirement for having broadband. So on the top the broadband cost there is the landline cost as well even if you do not use it. Not everyone can get cable internet services.

Sky line rental has aleardy gone up to £14.50. Its now more expensive than Virgin Media Phone Line Rental which is £13.95. Rumour has it thats going to go up again later in the new year!.

AS your report says Sky TV has already gone up I used to pay £40.50 per month now its £42.00.

When aare all these price hikes coing to end. Its not fair on us consumers where er have to make do with wage & sallary freezes and in the public sector this is mad with a total reduction.

Me myself I and many others are totally fed up of it it a!ll

Whats the excuse this time?!

Clive says:
20 December 2012

If you are totally fed up why not switch from SKY?
Most people pay a hefty price every month to watch Freeview channels on SKY anyhow.

I dont understand the logic.

Pack SKY in, its the ONLY protest they will listen to.

IN addition to the above statement…

Although Sky Phone & Virgin Media line rental charges are considered much cheeper than BT
BT Line Rental Charges which are whopping great £19.50 per month plus they also invoke a £3.00
levy charge if you make less than six calls inside the three month charging period. (if youi pay quaterly, that is….)

Although Sky Phone & Virgin Media Line rental charges are considered much cheeper than BT
BT Line Rental Charges are a whopping great £19.50 per month plus they also invoke a £3.00 levy charge if you make less than six calls inside the three month charging period (Thats if you pay your BT Bill Quaterly…thats is).

ASOKANTHA says:
14 October 2012

After I have reading your customer review, I contacted Sky to talk about price increase in line rental
on 14/10/2012. I have package TV+ B/B + line rental all costs £44.00 after the increase of line rental
But i negotiatiate with them over the phone, and reduced to £32.50 a month saving me £ 11.50 a month for twelve months no minimum contract to sign on this, i can keep my original package as it is, not bad I prefer to stay with them.

I cancelled sky 2 years ago, they then won me back with a 75% discount for 12 months and no contract so I was getting the full sky world package including h.d and multiroom for £22. Its gone back up now though but might try cancelling again and see what happens.