Friday, 11 November 2016

Irish Times: Virgin Media Ireland prices will increase from January

Story from The Irish Times:


Virgin Media Ireland is putting its prices up in January for the second time in less than a year for many of its subscribers.

The broadband, cable television and telecoms provider is in the process of informing its customers of the price rises by email or letter.

Broadband prices will rise by €2.50 a month, while the cost of television packages will climb by €1.50 a month.

Subscribers with television and broadband bundles will see their bills go up by €4 a month, Virgin Media said.

Virgin broadband bundle subscribers previously saw their bills increase by €5 in March, meaning their bills will have increased by €9 a month when the new prices kick in from January.

“Nobody likes a price rise, and we understand this,” the company, a subsidiary of Virgin Media UK, writes on its website.

“That’s why we’re always looking to bring you the best Virgin Media experience,” the website notice states, without elaborating.

In a statement to The Irish Times, Virgin said the price change was necessary due to increased operating costs and “a near trebling of rates” payable across its network.

“It is also essential to make significant ongoing investments in network capacity to meet the fast growing usage of broadband by our customers, which is increasing at a rate of 37 per cent per annum,” it said.

“Creating opportunities for our customers to do more online is a priority for Virgin Media.”

The company added that the latest bill changes would vary depending on the services that customers use and would average 3.35 per cent across its subscriber base.

“Our prices compare very competitively against other operators,” it said.

Virgin Media has 457,700 customers in Ireland, with most people subscribing to more than one product.

The company, formerly known as UPC Ireland, has 363,800 broadband subscribers, 312,200 television subscribers and 352,200 home phone customers in Ireland, according to the latest figures from Liberty Global, Virgin Media’s parent company.

The number of television subscribers at the company continued its downward slide in the third quarter, the figures show.

The price change does not affect mobile customers.

Virgin has built up 13,600 mobile customers since launching services in October 2016 under a mobile virtual network operator agreement with Three Ireland.

Some Virgin Media customers were frustrated in July by the company’s decision to stop offering the Eir Sports pack of channels, which includes BT Sport, after it failed to agree commercial terms on a wholesale arrangement for the six channels.

Virgin Media Ireland chief executive Tony Hanway said at the time that Eir Sports was “not an integral part of the Virgin Media product offering”.

© 2016 THE IRISH TIMES.