Millions of Sky TV and broadband customers in the UK will pay £43 a year more from April, while Sky Mobile customers face the reintroduction of roaming charges of £2 a day in the rest of Europe, after the company announced a series of inflationary-skyrocketing prices.
Sky’s Essential broadband package will increase by 10% to £27.50 per month from April 1, while the Superfast service will increase by 9% to £30.50 per month.
The company, which has more than 12 million UK customers, said the average TV and broadband customer will pay an extra £3.60 a month from April and the average price increase was less than 5%. However, the price of some services increases by up to 14%.
The announcement came on the same day as official figures showed inflation hit a 30-year high of 5.5% in January as prices continued to climb across the board.
On Tuesday, regulator Ofcom said 20% of UK households had struggled to pay their TV, internet and phone bills in the past year, with some having to cancel services or cut spending on products essentials such as food and clothing to make payments.
A Sky spokesperson said on Wednesday: “We know that price increases are never welcome, so we aim to keep prices as low as possible while delivering the content customers love, the flexibility to choose the great package and our top notch customer service.”
The company said the exact increase customers will face will depend on their plan and whether or not a contract is present. HDTV will increase by £1 to £8 per month while call rates (UK landlines and mobiles) will increase by 2p per minute to 22p.
Sky Mobile will reintroduce roaming charges of £2 a day for its UK customers visiting the rest of Europe after May 3. The EU ban on roaming charges between member states no longer applies to people with UK mobile phones due to Brexit.
Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Sky does not base its mid-contract raises on inflation, but any hope that customers might be spared the pain of raises has been dashed. For many, it will be an unwanted burden at a time when households are feeling the pinch of rising bills across the board.
“Broadband customers still within the minimum term of their contract can leave without penalty if they act within 30 days of receiving their notification.”
January inflation figures mean mobile phone bills for Virgin Mobile and O2 customers will rise by 11.7% as they are linked to the retail price index, which hit 7.8% last month . The increase was set at 3.9% above the RPI.
“If you find yourself in financial difficulty, do not suffer in silence. Raise the issue with your supplier and you may be able to negotiate a better deal or switch to a social tariff if you meet the criteria,” Doku said.