O2, Three and Vodafone have announced they’ll be joining EE in raising their prices for monthly mobile customers this year.
That brings the number up to four major networks now due to increase their prices in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation, a monthly report by the Office for National Statistics.
Not all of the suppliers have announced the number they’ll be raising their tariffs by just yet, but here’s what we know will be happening to prices at the moment:
• EE is increasing prices from 30 March by 4.1% (December’s RPI figure)
• O2 is increasing prices in April by 4% (January’s RPI figure)
• Three is increasing prices in May by 4% (January’s RPI figure)
• Vodafone is increasing prices in April based on March’s RPI figure
Unfortunately, if you’re a part of a contract with a mobile supplier, these sorts of price increases are to be expected.
Guy Anker, managing editor of MoneySavingExpert.com explains: “Price rises such as these from O2, Three, Vodafone and EE are an occupational hazard for most mobile users, as they happen every year.
“While customers in contract are normally still tied in after a hike, any rise should act as a timely trigger for anyone free to move to save £100s by finding a better deal, given Sim prices have dived over recent years. Those on legacy tariffs are likely paying lots more than the best deals.”
If you want to know what providers aren’t planning on raising their mobile tariffs, Virgin Media and Giffgaff have told MoneySavingExpert they are not currently planning to raise prices, so perhaps looking for a contract with one of those providers may be in your interest.
Plusnet may also be worth investigating since RPI price rises do not apply to its deals, as the company offers 30-day rolling contracts.
If you do want to leave your contract with one of the main suppliers, however, you will almost certainly have to pay some sort of penalty.
When you signed up for your contract, there was almost certainly a clause in there somewhere that outlined that a company could increase its prices mid-term without offering you a get-out.
If you’re out of your minimum contract term you, you can pretty much leave whenever you want without penalty.
It may be worth browsing websites to see what other deals you can get if you’ve been tied into a contract for a long time – especially if you were paying off a handset at the same time.
Once these contracts hit their minimum term, many users in the UK may find they’re not getting value for their money. Especially if you’re being locked into 1GB of data per month, or paying for 5GB plus (it’s estimated that most UK users don’t get through more than 3GB of data per month).
So if you’re annoyed at how much you’re going to pay for your contract post-tariff rise, revise your current plan and see where you could be saving money.
If you have questions about your contract, it’s worth contacting your provider and talking to them about what options are available – there are options that allow you to buy your way out of contracts, or it could be possible for you to move away from a contract altogether if your term is up.