MOBILE phone firms Three Mobile and Vodafone have sneaked out plans for annual inflation-busting price hikes for new customers. Mobile firms usually i
MOBILE phone firms Three Mobile and Vodafone have sneaked out plans for annual inflation-busting price hikes for new customers.
Mobile firms usually increase bills for customers based on inflation.
Vodafone uses the March Retail Price Index (RPI) figure, which was 2.5% – adding almost £24 on average to bills this year.
While Three Mobile uses January’s RPI figure, which was 2.7% – adding £20 a year to bills on average this year.
But now both the firms have said they will hike bills by different measures for new or upgrading customers.
Three Mobile is to hike bills for new customers or those who upgraded after October 29 2020 by 4.5% each April.
How to avoid the mobile hike
HERE’S what action you can take to try to avoid mobile price rises:
If you’re in contract – haggle your price down
If you’re still in contract you unfortunately won’t be allowed to leave your contract penalty free as a result of the increase.
Mobile users can typically only cancel their contract if an increase is what regulator Ofcom deems is “of material detriment” to them, and an inflation linked increase is unlikely to fit this bill.
So your best option will be to haggle your price down. Use a mobile comparison site, such as Billmonitor to see if you could save by switching elsewhere.
Then take this to your provider and argue that cheaper prices elsewhere, alongside a price hike, mean you’re not happy with the service provided.
If you’re out of contract and want to stay – also haggle
Again, compare prices elsewhere and then come armed with the facts when you’re talking to a customer services rep.
If it won’t budge on price, see if you could get extra minutes, texts, data or freebies such as Spotify or Apple Music chucked in.
Switch to a Sim-only deal if you’re out of contract
If you’re out of contract, check if you can save by switching elsewhere.
You can either take out a new contract or, if you now own the handset outright, consider getting a cheap rolling Sim-only tariff.
These can start from around just £5 a month.
This will affect SIM Only, mobile broadband and home broadband customers too.
While Vodafone is hiking costs for customers who joined or upgraded after December 9 based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is currently 0.7%, plus 3.9%.
It will use the CPI figure from January and bills will increase each April.
It means a customer on one of Three Mobile’s most expensive contracts, on the Apple iPhone 12 Pro would pay £2.96 extra a month and £35.52 a year, based on paying £66 a month.
While on Vodafone’s Apple iPhone 12 Pro, costing £61 a month, would pay £33.60 a year extra – or £2.80 a month.
Both firms say customers on average contracts would pay £20 to £22 more a year.
Customers who joined before those dates will still be subject to increases by the old measures.
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A spokesperson for Three UK said: “Like other mobile providers, our pay monthly plans are subject to an annual price change.
“We believe that integral to a great customer experience is certainty and transparency. “
It added that price changes based on RPI or CPI are “variable” and “unpredictable” for customers. It is also investing £2billion in 5G.
Vodafone confirmed the changes.
Brits spend £1million on bills during their lifetime – and tech is the biggest cost.