Hyperoptic goes on the offensive over mid-contract price rises

UK fibre altnet Hyperoptic has launched a TV ad campaign designed to shame the big telcos for their impending price rises.

CSPs such as BT/EE intend to raise their prices for everyone by 14.4% in April. They detail various justifications for the move, and we’re all acutely aware of the current inflationary environment, but then what’s the point of a contract if the terms can be unilaterally altered by one party? Can customers decide to pay 20% less whenever they fancy it?

Hyperoptic doesn’t do this sort of thing and has decided there’s marketing profit to be had from that. “We’ve spent the last year raising awareness and lobbying for change on broadband’s mid-contract price rises,” said Hyperoptic’s Chief Customer Officer Lutfu Kitapci. “Around 15 million households are going to be affected, and we know that 60% don’t know the increase is coming.

“This TV ad will let more people know to look out for increases and be aware before they sign a new contract. Hyperoptic has never hiked prices mid-contract. We believe it’s misleading to let customers sign up to a contract price, only to increase that price months later without any transparency – especially in this cost-of-living crisis.”

It should be noted that it’s inaccurate to say there has been no transparency, and that the 60% figure is taken from a year-old study, but the underlying point is sound. Ofcom is having a look at the matter but doesn’t seem to have a problem with the underlying concept of mid-contract price rises, even though other utilities aren’t granted that freedom. They, of course, have metered billing but nobody is stopping CSPs from doing the same.

You can see the new Hyperoptic ad below, which doesn’t pull its punches and nor should it. Our view is that fixed-term contracts should not be subject to arbitrary adjustment, otherwise they’re meaningless. Furthermore, isn’t this just a sneaky way of competing hard on initial price to lure the customer in, only to then charge more once they’re committed? Hyperoptic presumably raises its prices from time to time too, but if those are only for new contracts then that’s a completely different matter.


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