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Vodafone Adopt Simpler UK Mobile and Broadband Price Rise Policy UPDATE

Wednesday, Jun 26th, 2024 (12:01 am) - Score 7,240
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Mobile network operator and broadband ISP Vodafone UK is preparing to introduce a simpler pricing policy, which will replace their old inflation-linked approach to annual price hikes with one that simplifies things (i.e. by expressing future annual increases using a clear figure in pounds and pence).

The change is designed to reflect Ofcom’s recent move to BAN broadband ISPs and mobile operators from doing mid-contract price hikes that are linked to confusing inflation and percentage-based changes (here). For example, Vodafone’s current approach is to notify customers that their “monthly price will increase each April, by the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation published in January of that year + 3.9%.”

Ofcom’s change was never designed to stop mid-contract hikes completely (it’s more about making future package pricing clearer and simpler), but it did require providers to tell customers precisely what any future price increases would be when they sign up (“in pounds and pence“), which rules out changes linked to unknown future inflation values or percentages. BT has already adopted this approach (here) and others will follow.

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Vodafone now appears to be planning something similar for introduction from 2nd July 2024 (i.e. this is when the policy will be introduced, not the price rise itself). Under this approach, the operator will seek to raise their monthly prices by £3 for home broadband and from £1 for mobile on 1st April every year. People on social tariffs, as well as anybody registered as financially vulnerable, are not affected by the price rise.

A Spokesperson for Vodafone told ISPreview:

“It’s important to us that our customers have a clear and certain understanding of their bills throughout the length of their contracts, so we are moving away from inflation linked price rises from 2 July 2024 for our consumer customers and some small business customers.

In line with Ofcom’s consultation, before a customer takes out a new contract or re-contracts with us – from 2 July 2024, they will be told exactly what their contract will cost in pounds and pence, and when that price rise will occur.

For example, customers taking out a contract in August 2024, will see their bill adjusted in April 2025, and then in April 2026 by a set amount. Plans will increase from £1 a month on mobile and £3 a month for broadband customers. There will be no increases for customers registered as financially vulnerable or those on social tariffs.

Note: Customers purchasing through Curry’s will have a phased transition to the new pricing model.”

However, we understand that both out-of-contract and out-of-bundle charges may continue to increase by the old inflation method, which is because these aren’t covered by Ofcom’s change. At present there is no change for those on Vodafone’s Pay As You Go (PAYG) plans. Vodafone has informed ISPreview that they’ll have a more detailed blog up on this change later this morning, but it wasn’t yet live at the time of writing (we’ll update again later).

UPDATE:

Vodafone’s related blog is now live, although it doesn’t add much to what we’ve already reported above. Otherwise, we understand that the £1 a month mobile rise only impacts their SIM Only Basics plans, while all other SIM only products (handset airtime, mobile broadband etc.) will go up by £1.80 a month.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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27 Responses
  1. Avatar photo TrueFibre says:

    It doesn’t bother me I always recontact at April to avoid paying more

    1. Avatar photo Ben says:

      I don’t think Vodafone offer (m)any 12 month deals, so presumably you always get one mid-contract price increase?

    2. Avatar photo TrueFibre says:

      Yes it 24 months but the prices go up every April but I recontract to avoid the price increase

    3. Avatar photo Obi says:

      Is this a Vodafone thing, where you can recontact a year in advance? On EE but this is a interesting strategy

  2. Avatar photo Rik says:

    While this seems like a good idea, I feel that if inflation stalls, consumers are still going to be on the hook for these fixed price rises. The fair approach would have been to ban mid contract rises in my opinion.

  3. Avatar photo CJ says:

    The proposed Ofcom rules do not say the increase should be expressed in pounds and pence. They say the “changed Core Subscription Price” should be expressed in pounds and pence. This is a subtle but important difference.

    Ofcom illustrate this with an example:

    Monthly subscription price:
    £30 until 31 March 2004
    increasing to:
    £31.50 from 1 April 2024
    £33.00 on 1 April 2025

    It is not sufficient to itemise the annual increase separately, as BT are currently doing in their adverts (which I have reported to the ASA).

  4. Avatar photo RightSaidFred says:

    Read as: “inflation rate is coming down, so CPI +3.9% is less than £3 per month. We’ll go with £3 per month.”

  5. Avatar photo Carl Conrad says:

    The problem is that this forces consumers to pay more each year for their broadband and mobile contracts than they would under the current rules. With inflation running at 2%, customers could expect their broadband costs to rise fly 5.9% next year. Now they will rise by £3, which is just under 12%. Surely, Ofcom didn’t intend that consumers should face higher inflation. No doubt the incoming government will look at this, and I for one will be raising it with them on the basis that if mid-term price rises are applied consumers should be able to end their contracts without penalty.

  6. Avatar photo anonymous says:

    A £1 every year on a mobile tariff is significant. Meanwhile, new customer pricing barely moves.
    Similarly £3 per month is an extra £36 / year every year you stay on a package, whilst new customer pricing stays relatively lower.

    I can remember the days when you took a mobile plan out and it was that price until you changed it. Now, that wasn’t ideal for the operator, but these latest models for price increases are still a rip-off and just forced you into re-contracting or switching; which sometimes you may not want to do if packages start having longer contract durations or stingier contents….

    1. Avatar photo CJ says:

      I wouldn’t say they are a rip-off if the price is advertised properly, but up to now they haven’t been advertised properly. The increases have less to do with increasing costs (otherwise why always a full increase in the first year?) and more to do with taking advantage of lax advertising rules to present a lower headline price.

      I don’t have a fundamental problem with customers being able to choose between
      Provider A: £30 per month increasing to £33 and then £36
      Provider B: £31 per month fixed for 24 months.
      Most people can see that the second one is cheaper overall.

      I do take issue when this is presented as
      Provider A: £30 per month*
      Provider B: £31 per month

      And I take issue when Provider A is then listed above Provider B in price comparison tables.

  7. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

    I will stick with my sim only contract on smarty, well until Three merges with Vodafone, and then I will have to look for a different option.

    There are people at work paying £30 to £50 a month just so they can get the latest fastest phone, I don’t see the point myself, certainly if they are not taking full advantage of the thing, My cheap Oppo will do everything I need and more and no doubt will work for these people who have the latest overpriced Samsung.
    Up to them at the end of the day, their money, but I know people who don’t work and are on benefit s and still paying out that much for phones, makes me wonder how they can afford to do it.

  8. Avatar photo Craig Dent says:

    They’re still not explaining the price rise correctly for mobiles! “Plans will increase from £1 a month on mobile”, key word FROM, it could be more

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      I think it’s generally £1, but then SIM Basics plans or something like that go up by £1.80. But waiting on full detail from Vodafone.

  9. Avatar photo Loon Toon Baboon says:

    My party will raise tax on these companies in line with Inflation. Why should the beloved treasury be short changed. Inflation linked tax rise for companies now!!

    Of course this is only applicable to companies with inflation linked consumer products!!

    Vote for the Loonies

    1. Avatar photo Billy Shears says:

      I know you’re joking but for those lacking a funny bone I’d like to point out that inflation is, and always has been, inflation linked. Think about it.

      And yes, we’re being fleeced. Again.

    2. Avatar photo Billy Shears says:

      @Billy Shears. Sorry, that should have been TAXATION is inflation linked. Doh!

  10. Avatar photo insertfloppydiskhere says:

    I can’t help but think that this should be somewhat variable.

    I’m currently with O2, I signed up to Virgin Mobile in 2018 on a 2GB for £5 deal. Haven’t changed plans and my price has gone up to £7.37 this year. The new price rise is arguably more expensive for those on cheaper plans, it needs to be a variable amount like 20p increase for plans under £7.50, 50p increase for £7.50-£15 plans and £1 increase for more expensive plans etc. Same goes for EE’s implementation.

  11. Avatar photo Tech2-formeragent says:

    Funny how they’ve just saved hundreds of thousands of labour every month by shipping all of the workload overseas to India (VOIS) leaving nearly 1000 uk staff unemployed yet they have the cheek and audacity to raise the prices to consumer and business as a result, greed at its finest!

    P.S blamed redundancies on ‘rising costs’ in the uk when most were on WFH contracts (so overheads were minimal) which for some reason after a while they didn’t appear to like this they pulled the trigger on a load of staff and claimed you can apply for other jobs within but upon announcing the redundancies they pulled all jobs from the jobs board, go figure

    1. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      In management speak: We simplified our staff base from a very complex structure and gave what our customers wanted. Customers told us they wanted shorter queue times when calling in and this means we can have more staff at the frontline ready to serve our customers 😉

    2. Avatar photo Tech2 says:

      blamed ‘rising costs’ even though it was work from home contracts that ultimately bit the bullet. End of the day would you rather 1 call at 30 minutes with a UK agent that could get resolutions in place there and then or 6 calls of 10 minutes with someone who pies you off with rubbish repeatedly and ‘sorry’ every 5 minutes? Doesn’t necessarily ‘shorten’ the call queues or times.

  12. Avatar photo Jim says:

    The mobile companies in general are poor, shoddy customer service, an absolute race to the bottom to see who can offer the worst service. They then have the cheek to raise prices mid contract. It’s immoral what these cartel of companies are doing.

    All the major mobile companies behave in a way which is unconsciousable.

    Get your house in order, stop raising prices whilst your service is beyond mediocre.

    Merging with each other, the voda 3 merger is a disgrace.

  13. Avatar photo Wayne says:

    Personally I use Toob for my broadband and I believe the policy they have is the one everyone should have.

    What you pay from day 1 is what you pay for the whole 18 months contract period, there are no in contract rises.

    Even as a shareholder in Vodafone (so as a shareholder price increases benefit the company) I do not agree with in contract rises, I believe what you pay on day i should be there until the end of the contract period

    1. Avatar photo Crotchety says:

      ABSOLUTELY!

    2. Avatar photo Tom says:

      Totally agree, most altnets don’t seem to have price rises. Presumably as they know it’s a popular thing for customers. Same with most MVNOs as well.

      Perhaps the big operators have actually shot themselves in the foot, their ridiculous price rises have meant more people than ever are switching (particularly for mobile) on realising how much they’re getting ripped off. Maybe they’d actually kept customers if they’d not done it = more shareholder value!?

  14. Avatar photo MRLeeds says:

    This will probably make me leave them, on a £30 package that’s a 10% rise each April so much worse than the current system.

  15. Avatar photo AMitchell says:

    Simpler? They’re raising call package costs by £2 in August, despite the contract starting in February.
    They can Foxtrot Oscar.
    Cheeky way around the rules and ofcom have allowed it. That’s wrong on so many levels.

  16. Avatar photo Bob says:

    Vodafone upped my bill to £33.43 in April inline with the CPI and have now told me they are increasing my bill again from August by another £2.00 and then again in April next year
    Do theses people have a licence to just do whatever they like ??

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