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EE, Vodafone and O2 customers prepare for mobile price hikes

Friday, February 17th 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

EE, Vodafone and O2 customers on pay monthly plans will see their mobile bills go up in the coming weeks.

All three are putting up prices in line with an adjustment to the retail price index (RPI) – a measure of the UK’s general rate of inflation.

The operators all pointed out that annual prices “adjustments” are detailed in the terms and conditions of new pay monthly contracts.

As such, and because the increases are in line with inflation, the rules that allow customers to walk away from broadband providers that put up their prices without paying a cancellation fee do not apply.

EE is putting up its prices by 2.5% in line with the RPI adjustment announced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in January.

It said the changes, which come into effect at the end of March, mean customers will see an average increase of less than 80p a month.

A spokesperson for EE said: “As the UK’s biggest and fastest mobile network we work hard to offer our customers great value.

“Like many service providers, our pay monthly plans increase by RPI annually.

“This year our customers will see a typical rise of less than 80p a month. We’re currently contacting our customers to remind them this will take effect from 30th March 2017.”

O2 is increasing the price of its pay monthly and SIM-only contracts by 2.6% in line with the latest RPI figure announced earlier this week.

Customers on O2’s most popular tariff will see an increase of 46p a month from April.

'Continue to invest'

An O2 spokesperson said the 2.6% rise would only apply to customers’ call, text and data plans, not the amount they repay on a handset.

“Some other companies offering communication services have increased their monthly rentals by up to 9%,” they said, referring to recent price hikes by BT and Sky.

“Other operators apply their RPI changes to the total tariff which includes the handset cost, while our O2 Refresh customers only see the rate added to their Airtime Plan and not the Device Plan.

“This adjustment means an extra charge of 46 pence per month for customers on our most popular tariff and we’ll be contacting customers next week to let them know the change will be reflected from their April bill.

“We’ll continue to invest in our network and the services that matter to our customers while still offering great value for money.”

Vodafone, on its website, said its price increase will be dictated by the RPI rate published by the ONS in March and will be applied in April.

The company is promising to honour its Fixed Price Promise to customers who bought a pay monthly bundle before 5 May 2016.

A Vodafone spokesperson said: "Any customer that took a pay monthly plan on or after the 5 May 2016, will have an annual price adjustment in April, in line with the March Retail Price Index (RPI)."

A spokesman for Three said it is yet to decide whether to increase its prices in line with the RPI, adding that customers will be informed when a decision has been made.

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