Sky high prices for subscription TV

Posted by Jessica Searle in Personal Finance on 26 June 2013 - Jessica worked as a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile until 2013

The Sky's the limit…well, for prices at least it seems. Telecommunications giant Sky has announced that it will be increasing its prices by up to 10% in September, landing another blow to the UK's already cash-strapped households.

Sky are yet to confirm if these new costs will be applied to new or existing customers, or which packages will be affected across its TV, home phone and broadband ranges. The rise has been snuck into the small print of the Sky website, and is justified as “in accordance with our standard terms”. It is possible that some prices will rise by a less than 10% of course, but the actual amounts are unknown at this stage.

Sky offers four main subscription packages, starting at £21.50 a month. A 10% hike in the 'Family Bundle', for example, would raise the current cost of £31.50 a month by £3.15 to £34.65 a month.

If the same increase is applied to the most expensive (and one of the most popular) of Sky's subscription packages – the 'Sports Bundle' – monthly prices would jump from £42.50 to £46.75.

This news follows a series of price increases that were rolled out in 2012, with September seeing an increase in both line rental and call charges for new customers. In December 2012, some call costs and the price of line rental for home phone customers was also increased from £12.25 to £14.50 - an increase of 18%.

Rival BT has confirmed that the cost of their monthly line rental is being frozen until 2014 – a welcome move, but one that also suggests a rise is very likely in 12 months’ time. In contrast, it has confirmed an increase of 10% to its line rental saver plan – from £129 a year to £141.

With an expected rise in many other household bills – generally (though sadly not universally) believed to be more of a necessity than a swanky TV package – the latest Sky price hike could well see a number of customers decide to tighten their belts and axe their subscription.

There could even be a further problem for anyone who decides to stick with Sky but struggle to pay their monthly bills on time. With telecommunications supplier accounts showing upon your credit file, any missed or late payments would be recorded, and could well affect your ability to get credit in the future.

Jessica Searle is a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile and has a degree in English Literature from the University of Exeter. You can contact her at jessica.searle@checkmyfile.com

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