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Inflationary Mobile Price Rises for Three UK, EE, O2 and Vodafone

Thursday, February 15th, 2018 (2:02 pm) - Score 5,206

Mobile operators Three UK, EE, O2 and Vodafone have all confirmed that they’ll introduce mid-contract price rises for subscribers, which as usual will be conducted in line with inflation as measured via the Retail Price Index (RPI). The RPI figure for January 2018 was 4%.

On every EE contract the monthly price plan charge will generally be increased by RPI in March of each year and 2018 is no different, with the operator having confirmed that they intend to impose a 4.1% rise (based on the December 2017 RPI). The change won’t affect pay-as-you-go customers or those who joined the operator (or upgraded their plan) after 6th Feb 2018.

Meanwhile O2, Three UK and Vodafone have all confirmed plans for a similar increase to MSE. According to O2’s website, they will adopt an RPI increase of 4% from April 2018 (unless you joined / upgraded after 13th February 2018) and the prices for calls outside your monthly allowance or international calls may also change.

Vodafone have also said that they expect to do the same (keep an eye on this page for updates) but have not yet revealed what their increase will be; they usually announce it a little later than the others. Likewise Three UK are in the same boat and have not yet confirmed the level of increase, only that they will be following the same RPI approach.

Ordinarily Ofcom’s rule for mid-contract price rises might give you the ability to exit your contract penalty free but there is an exception for increases connected to inflation (so long as they include this in your contract). Increases linked to RPI are now fairly common among the major operators’, although it’s worth checking your plan because they might not apply to every tariff (e.g. PAYG may be excluded on some operators).

Likewise if you’re already out of contract then you can either try haggling or switch operator.

Leave a Comment
32 Responses
  1. Moses Jonson says:

    I’m so glad I left these networks that linked up with BTs network, they’re so annoying

  2. Kits says:

    Looks like I will be seeing if I can leave mid contract I signed up for a 12 month contract at a set price I will not stay with companies that increase the charges mid contract.

    1. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      You should always read the T&C’s before signing any contract as they will say that they are able to add price rises.

    2. adslmax says:

      No ofcom stated if they put up price rise in mid way of contract, you are allow to leave without any penalty charge. That’s go for broadband, line rental, mobile contract.

    3. Kyle says:

      I believe that is incorrect. If I understand correctly, the price increase does not allow a penalty-free cancellation, provided the reason for the increase is stipulated, prior to signing the contract. Therefore, if RPI was stated as a reason to hike prices, you agreed to this. If it is a general ‘we may increase prices’, this would permit a free cancellation.

    4. Mike says:

      You believe wrong ‘Kyle’ ADSLMax is amazingly correct…
      https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2013/10/ofcom-protects-consumers-mid-contract-price-hikes-uk-isps.html

      You basically have 30 days to leave peanlty free once the price hike is announced.

    5. Mike says:

      I refer you to the only thing that matters, the actual rules…
      https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/media/media-releases/2014/protection-for-consumers-against-unexpected-mid-contract-price-rises
      Not silly personal opinion news items

    6. Kyle says:

      You might want to take a look at Ofcom’s own definition of this; GC9.6, A1.14, example 3. Not a silly source.

      https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0027/29682/guidance.pdf

    7. Oleg says:

      EE can not force you to stay. They tried this with me last year when they also increased prices. I left them with no penalty though i did have to threaten that i would write to the Ombudsman for ADR along with Ofcom.

      They can not get away with it the PDF linked is very clear if you have any sense….

      “the position in examples 2 and 3 depends on the relevant price
      terms being…

      ””sufficiently prominent and transparent”’ that the subscriber can properly
      be said to have agreed on an ”’informed basis, at the point of sale”’, to the relevant
      tiered price(s).

      In my case they never pointed out to me (IE made it transparent for me to make a decision on an informed basis at the time of sale). About price increases. I highly doubt they do for most people walking in off the street.

      Example 3 is also in regards to sign ups at a certain price and period of time which will increase ONLY once the period of that at time of sale price expires………. The price increase is for all (no matter the contract length at sign up or how far you are into the contract) NOT just those that entered a contract at a specific price for a specific period. And thus those 2 examples are moot (do not apply).

      PEOPLE DO NOT LISTEN TO BT STAFF HERE TRYING TO SCARE YOU, YOU ARE WITHIN YOUR RIGHTS TO LEAVE I DID.

    8. Kyle says:

      Who are the BT staff?

    9. Mike says:

      Correct indeed Oleg 🙂 example 3 is for an agreed price increase a fixed period into the contract. Not for anyone that can be any period into their contract.

      Glad you escaped from them.

  3. Onephat says:

    Ofcom only force the operators to allow you to escape penalty free if the increase is above Inflation and if it hasn’t been described in the original contract you signed. That how I read it anyway

    1. Mike says:

      RPI doesnt not come into it at all, its any price increase.

    2. AndyH says:

      @ Mike

      That is completely incorrect. The key here is a price increase of “material detriment”.

    3. Mike says:

      Detriment in English means the loss, damage, disadvantage, or injury of something. Pay more you lose more thus it is a loss. Not hard to comprehend.

    4. AndyH says:

      @ Mike

      Once again, incorrect.

      OFCOM stated that:

      This position would be in addition to compliance with the requirements of the CPRs, GCs 9, 23 and 24 and the requirements of the UTCCRs. The requirements of fairness under the latter, for example, mean the relevant contract terms should provide in plain, intelligible language that:

      • the price may be variable during the initial commitment period;
      • any increase is linked to a relevant published price index such as the RPI, and limited to an amount no greater than the rate set out in that index; and
      • the frequency and timing of any such increase is limited to no more than once every twelve months during the initial commitment period of the contract.

      Those terms should be drawn specifically to the consumer’s attention and information reflecting them should be provided transparently in marketing material and at point of sale (in accordance with the GCs, 9, 23 and 24 in particular).

      6.82 The effect would be that transparent contract terms may in plain, intelligible language provide for mid-contract price rises once every 12 months limited to RPI that Ofcom would likely regard as fair contract terms for the purposes of the UTCCRs. But,
      where a CP proposes any price rise to which our GC9.6 guidance applies, we would be likely to regard it as giving rise on the consumer’s part to rights to give notice and to terminate the contract in accordance with that condition

      OFCOM views RPI increases as fair and not a material detriment, as long as they are clearly written into the contract and there is not more than one increase in a 12 month period.

    5. Oleg says:

      NO Ofcom state “Those terms should be drawn specifically to the consumer’s attention and information reflecting them should be provided transparently in marketing material and at point of sale”

      So that is not just written into a contract it has to be “specifically” pointed out.

      NOTHING points to price increases RPI or otherwise when you sign up on their website. Thus any price increase is in violation of the rules.

  4. Drew says:

    It doesn’t matter what they say or do it’s always us the consumer that get hit in the pockets and that loyalty doesn’t really mean that much to them i rent 4 lines from EE and to tell the truth i dont think they give me that much in the way of loyalty , I’m starting to think the best way to go is sim only or payg

    1. spurple says:

      Sim-only is always a good idea, as long as you intend to keep your phone more than 2 years. It still doesn’t protect you from RPI prices, but your monthly bills should be lower.

  5. Andyroochoo says:

    im on three and a sim only plan

    Any RPI-related price increase only applies if you’re on our new Pay Monthly terms and conditions, and won’t apply to Add-ons. It also won’t apply if you’re on a SIM-Only plan, business plan or on our previous Pay Monthly terms and conditions (if you joined or upgraded before 29 May 2015).

  6. The Archbishop says:

    I don’t think it matters that it’s RPI or less – Ofcom seem to state that you still have the right to exit, as any price increase is a “material detriment”. Here’s part of their guidance document:

    “These examples of the application of this guidance are for illustrative purposes:

    • Example 1: discretionary price increases

    The subscriber agrees and enters into a 24-month contract for services on terms
    that the core subscription price will be £10 per month. The contract also contains a
    term to the effect that the CP may increase the agreed core subscription price by
    up to a certain amount, percentage or index-linked level (such as RPI).

    Ofcom is likely to treat any exercise of the discretion to increase this agreed price during the fixed minimum term of the contract as a modification meeting GC9.6’s material
    detriment requirement.

    Ofcom’s concern is with the application of price and price variation terms which give
    the CP discretion as to, for example, the possibility, amount and/or timing of a price
    increase. We are likely to take a similar approach to that above to the application of
    contract terms that reserve such discretion and/or are to the same or similar effects
    as those in example 1.”

    1. Mike says:

      110% CORRECT ARCHBISHOP, STRAIGHT FROM OFCOMS OWN MOUTH

      PEOPLE IGNORE THE RPI NONSENSE FROM BT SHILLS SCARED EE ARE GONNA LOSE MONEY.

    2. Kyle says:

      Interesting how you’ve only mentioned EE, when three other operators are listed in the title of the article. Ofcom’s own mouth has clearly documented this under GC9.6, A1.14, example 3.

      Source, not shrill.

    3. Oleg says:

      EE can not force you to stay. They tried this with me last year when they also increased prices. I left them with no penalty though i did have to threaten that i would write to the Ombudsman for ADR along with Ofcom.

      They can not get away with it the PDF linked is very clear if you have any sense….

      “the position in examples 2 and 3 depends on the relevant price
      terms being…

      ””sufficiently prominent and transparent”’ that the subscriber can properly
      be said to have agreed on an ”’informed basis, at the point of sale”’, to the relevant
      tiered price(s).

      In my case they never pointed out to me (IE made it transparent for me to make a decision on an informed basis at the time of sale). About price increases. I highly doubt they do for most people walking in off the street.

      Example 3 is also in regards to sign ups at a certain price and period of time which will increase ONLY once the period of that at time of sale price expires………. The price increase is for all (no matter the contract length at sign up or how far you are into the contract) NOT just those that entered a contract at a specific price for a specific period. And thus those 2 examples are moot (do not apply).

    4. Mike says:

      I guess some of us understand rights better than others, or more likely some just do not want people to exercise their rights.

  7. Clive Wyatt says:

    It’s a shame that wages don’t rise in similar fashion

  8. The Archbishop says:

    It’s not example 3 that is relevant – that’s only when the increase is at the end of the first 12m of your specific contract. These increases are being applied at any point in your contract, whether or not it’s your anniversary. It’s therefore example 1 that applies here which makes it clea that Ofcom regard the increase as material detriment, meaning you have the right to exit. Onbviosoy this doesn’t apply to the handset element,

    1. Kyle says:

      The exact wording is “12-months (or some other period)”.

    2. Oleg says:

      NO example 3 is for a fixed period contract where a price increase will occur at a precise time into the contract.

      In other words it only applies to people that sign up to a contract X amount of months long and agree to a price increase X amount of months into that contract. EEs price rise does not matter how long into a agreed contract you are ( you could be 1 week, month, day, or year into your contract and they are whacking up the price). Thus that example does not apply.

      In theory you could sign up just one week before EEs price rise and they think they have a right to stop you leaving. And stupidly it seems so do you, or atleast for some reason thats what you want people to think.

    3. Kyle says:

      Example 3 applies, whereby the date of an RPI price rise is stated. If the operator states when the RPI increase is to take place, example 3 is fully applicable. Take a look at any of the aforementioned operators; the date of the increase is stipulated.

      Spout your propaganda, if you wish. I’ve made use of the GC9.6 clause before, but if I sign a contract stating that my bill will increase by n% on a given date for example, I am not entitled to leave penalty-free. Ofcom do not class this as material detriment.

    4. Mike says:

      “Example 3 applies, whereby the date of an RPI price rise is stated. If the operator states when the RPI increase is to take place, example 3 is fully applicable.”

      No it does not it states contract period and a rise after a fixed period into the contract. Using you logic depending on contract length a person joining at one period in a year could face 2 RPI increases while another at a different time of the year joining could only face one. That is not how it works.

      “Spout your propaganda, if you wish. I’ve made use of the GC9.6 clause before, but if I sign a contract stating that my bill will increase by n% on a given date for example, I am not entitled to leave penalty-free. Ofcom do not class this as material detriment.”

      Its not propaganda its common bloody sense. You do not even have to read the contract any RPI increase term in it has to be “informed” and made “transparent” to you before you sign up at the point of sale, again Ofcom rules are clear on that. I spose you are going to say the acne teenager staff in EE stores always point that out to you also?

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