More than 500,000 broadband only Virgin Media customers will be hit with price hikes of up to 6% from 1 November, but you can leave penalty free.

The move will see customers who pay for Virgin Media's broadband, but get their line rental and any other packages such as home phone or TV elsewhere, pay £1.75 more each month. Prices will increase as follows:

  • 50MB broadband will increase from £28.50/month to £30.25/month – a 6.1% increase.
  • 100MB broadband  will increase from £33.50/month to £35.25/month – a 5.2% increase.
  • 152MB broadband will increase from £41/month to £42.75/month – a 4.3% increase.

Customers will receive letters from 21 September detailing the increase, which takes effect from 1 November.

Virgin Media last upped prices for broadband only customers last October when costs increased by £1.50/month.

Gregor McNeil, managing director, consumer at Virgin Media says: "We never like to increase prices but the most important thing is that we continue to offer the very best services and value. To this end, we are investing heavily to enhance our network still further with a broadband speed boost coming this Autumn."

Ditch and switch. You can leave penalty-free

But if you want to cancel your broadband contract penalty free as a result of the price rise, you have until the end of October to tell Virgin Media.   

Rules from regulator Ofcom state that providers must allow customers to cancel penalty free if they didn't inform customers of the price rise when they signed up.

So check now if you can get a better deal elsewhere – see our Cheap Broadband guide for all the best buys.

Virgin Media broadband customers to be hit with price hikes from November
Virgin Media broadband customers to be hit with price hikes from November

If you want to stay with Virgin Media, haggle your price down

The best prices are usually reserved for new customers, so existing ones lose out on cracking deals. But if you want to stay with Virgin Media and you're willing to take the haggle challenge, you could beat the price hike.

In our latest service provider haggle poll, 81% of Virgin Media customers polled said they had a success haggling. See our guide on how to haggle with Virgin. In the meantime, here are five tips to start...

  • Benchmark the best deal elsewhere so you ask for a realistic discount.
  • Get through to the retentions (sometimes called disconnections) department, as they have the most power to slash costs as their job is to keep you.
  • Use charm and be friendly. Aggression or anger will just put their back up.
  • Don't panic if they call your bluff and say they'll disconnect you.
  • Problems mean discounts, so if you've had issues with Virgin Media in the past – eg, slow broadband – politely tell it when you haggle.

Also watch Martin's How to Haggle video for more inspiration.