Millions of Sky broadband and TV customers will see their monthly contracts rise by up to £36 a year from Sunday 1 April – but if you're affected you may be able to leave penalty-free or haggle down your bill.

TV customers with the Original, Variety or Box Sets packages will see the biggest increase of £1.50/month, some Sky Sports customers will also see a 50p/month increase, and broadband customers could see a rise of up to £1.01/month. However, those on Sky's new-style TV packages, launched last December, WON'T see prices rise.

See full info below on how to beat the hike and your rights. To compare the best alternative deals – including three super-hot fibre broadband offers which end soon – use our Broadband Unbundled tool.

How are Sky's prices changing?

Sky claims on average customers' bills will go up by less than £2.50/mth. Here's what's changing on 1 April:

  • Sky TV Original, Variety and Box Sets packages – up by £1.50/mth.
  • Full Sky Sports on a rolling contract up by 50p/mth.
  • Broadband – the Broadband Unlimited, Fibre (25GB capped), Fibre Lite and Connect packages will increase by £1.01/mth.

Sky is also increasing the price of some calls outside of inclusive call packages. Call connection costs will rise from 19p to 22p, UK landline costs from 12.54p to 14.65p, UK evening mobile calls from 14.25p to 17p and non-geographic access charges, such as for 03 numbers, from 11.5p to 13p. It will also increase the monthly cost of its voicemail by 75p.

This year's price rises follow a raft of increases to its line rental, TV and broadband packages and call costs last March. See our Sky price hikes MSE News story for more info on what happened then.

Last December, Sky announced it was overhauling its TV packages with new options including a Sky Entertainment package, an 18-month Sky Sports contract and Sky Cinema options. If you're on one of its new-style packages it says prices will not rise.

Mid-contract? You MAY be able to leave penalty-free

If you're not happy with the price hike, you may be able to exit your contract with Sky penalty-free. But there's no point leaving in a huff if your current deal is still the cheapest out there – so check rival providers' prices using our Broadband Unbundled tool, and remember other providers also increase prices from time to time.

If you do decide to quit your Sky contract, it's important to note:

  • If you're outside your minimum contract term for TV, phone and/or broadband, you can leave penalty-free – to ditch your contract, just speak to a live chat adviser or call 03300 413 018 and give 31 days' notice for TV packages, or 14 days' notice for broadband and phone packages.

  • If you're still within your minimum term for a Sky broadband or phone contract and are affected by these price increases, you CAN cancel it without paying an early termination charge. To do this you must call Sky within 30 days of receiving its price rise notification. Sky says you can do this no matter when you first took out your contract.

  • If you're within your minimum term for a TV contract though, unfortunately you CAN'T exit it penalty-free as a result of these price changes. You could ask to switch to one of Sky's new TV packages but this is unlikely to save you much as you'll pay £25/mth for the basic Entertainment bundle (or £20/mth if you commit to an 18-month contract).

Regulator Ofcom says if you're unhappy with the price hike you should complain to Sky, then escalate it to Ombudsman Services if necessary – see our How to Complain guide for help. Even if you don't have the right to leave penalty-free, it's still worth haggling as you've a reason to ask for a better deal and Sky should be keen to keep you.

It's important to note even if you ARE able to leave your contract penalty-free, you'll only be able to do so once you've received official notification of the price increase from Sky – Sky says it'll be telling customers more over the next month. Once you have received notification, you must call Sky within 30 days if you want to ask to leave penalty-free.

Haggle, haggle, haggle (and if you're out of contract, consider switching)

If you're out of contract there's a good chance you're paying over the odds, so check if you can find a better deal using our Broadband Unbundled tool – you don't need to wait for notification from Sky of the price hikes to do this.

Alternatively if you want to stick with Sky, you're in a great position to renegotiate a better deal (you can try this if you're still in contract too, though your bargaining position won't be as strong). Our poll in November 2016 found 87% of Sky customers who tried to haggle got a discount.

Check out our Sky Haggling guide for full help on how to do this, but here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Benchmark the best deal elsewhere so you ask for a realistic discount.
  • Get through to the retentions (sometimes called disconnections) department. 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 Sky in the past – eg, slow broadband – politely tell it when you haggle.

If you do haggle a better deal, always check the length of the contract you're signing up to – a lot of Sky contracts are now for 18 months, so make sure you're happy being locked in for that long.

What does Sky say?

Sky's UK chief executive Stephen van Rooyen said: "Not all customers will see their bills increase with many Sky products remaining at their current price and, for some products, this will be the first increase in two years.

"We continue to invest in content, products and services that our customers love, offering both new and existing customers great value and more choice through flexible packages."