In what it is claiming as an industry first, broadband company Zen is promising its loyal customers that it will never raise prices.
Zen Internet says it is bucking the trend of the loyalty penalty by ensuring that customers will not see any mid-contract price hikes and could, in the future, even see a decrease in their bills.
However, existing customers will only be able to sign-up to the new deals – that promise no price increases – once their current contract expires while new customers can access it straightaway when joining.
Promise: Zen is offering a lifetime price guarantee for new and existing broadband customers
The company, which currently has more than 100,000 customers, admits to taking aim at its ‘big four’ competitors, including Sky, BT, TalkTalk and Virgin Media, who have announced a number of price hikes in recent times.
Sky recently announced it was putting up its prices by 5.1 per cent for its TV and broadband customers which will increase the average annual bill by £42.
Along with the launch of the lifetime price guarantee, it said it is cutting the price of a number of its bundles, including several of its fibre packages.
Zen, the UK’s largest independent internet service provider, has announced a number of its bundles will now come under its lifetime price guarantee, including several of its unlimited fibre and unlimited broadband packages.
Andrew Fryatt, managing director of Zen, said: ‘Customer service is our number one priority and we are always looking at ways to improve this.
‘Unfortunately, the UK broadband industry is notorious for end of contract price hikes, and even price increases during the contract – luring customers into exciting deals which initially sound good, but with clauses that let the provider increase the price at later date.
‘This has led us to introduce our lifetime price guarantee. By valuing our customers and ultimately their happiness, we are confident that our business will continue to thrive and be known for its industry-leading service.’
Existing customers must wait for their contract to end until they can get Lifetime Guarantee
The deals that have changed include:
• Unlimited Fibre 2 bundle: Now £38.99, reduced from £43.99, on a 12 month contract, with the same price continuing thereafter, and no activation fee, which previously cost £55.
• Unlimited Fibre 1 bundle: This is still £37, but that same price continues after 12 months, and no activation fee.
• Unlimited Broadband bundle: Still £28, but that same price continues after 12 months, and no activation fee.
• Broadband without line rental has also been reduced by £10.
The offers of the lifetime price guarantee are already in effect with customers promised that, as long as they stay with Zen, their prices will never go up – but may go down.
Fratt continued: ‘For too long the broadband industry has focused on making short-term decisions for instant profit over the well-being of its customers and we’re aiming to change that.
‘Customers should be rewarded for sticking with a provider, not just by the experience they get, but safe in the knowledge they won’t be hit with any price hikes mid-contract.
‘This lifetime price guarantee is our commitment and pledge to always put our customers first.’
This is Money’s Check Your Bill campaign
In our campaign to stop companies profiteering on our loyalty, This is Money is calling on people to take action and Check Your Bill.
We want to help our readers take three simple steps:
- Check what you are paying
- Compare this to what new customers get and rival firms’ prices
- Demand a better deal or switch
We know that the loyalty penalty tends to hit older customers and the less internet-savvy hardest so This is Money is also calling on our readers to help their friends and relatives.
It will only take a little bit of time to help ensure that they are not being ripped off by insurers, telecoms firms, breakdown providers, energy firms and other providers – and you could give them the gift of saving hundreds of pounds on their bills.
For the unlimited fibre broadband, the price is £38.99, which is a higher price point than for many of the other broadband deals on the market.
However, it is likely the price was put slightly higher to offset the fact Zen will not be altering its prices in the future.
All of the packages come on a 12 month contract with the promise that the price will stay the same after the year is up and the contract continues.
Dani Warner, broadband expert at uSwitch, said: ‘Too many of us find it understandably frustrating when hit by in-contract price rises, so Zen’s Wlifetime guarantee” could prove to be a game changer with this transparency and consistency.
‘Essentially, what you see is what you get. The price you pay from day one is what you will continue to pay for the duration of your time as a Zen customer, even once your contract ends.
‘It is an eye-catching move from an independent provider, and one that could ruffle the feathers of some of the major providers.
‘Equally, there are always good broadband deals available, and in many cases at lower prices than Zen’s offering.
‘The monthly price for Zen broadband is typically a little higher than what you’d expect from similar packages as Zen is clearly looking to offset this price rise guarantee, but that doesn’t detract from this new offering.
‘The biggest price rises from other providers come when customers fall out of contract, but by shopping around for the best deal, significant savings can always be made – and many of them may well prove better value than Zen, even if they may be liable to increase by a small amount each year.’
Zen is available to customers nationwide.
To get the cheapest deal on their broadband, customers are encouraged to use comparison sites that will help them identify which package is the best for them.
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