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Three and Vodafone Customers Face Price Hikes

Three and Vodafone are hiking bills by up to 4.5% over the next few months, with the scheduled price increases hitting pay-monthly mobile and broadband customers.

If you’re a Three subscriber, the amount your bill will increase depends on when you signed up or last upgraded. 

All pay-monthly customers who signed up to a new deal or renewed after 29 October 2020 will see their bills increase by 4.5% from April. Contracts signed after this date included the 4.5% price hike in the fine print so you won’t be able to leave without facing early termination charges.

A spokesperson for Three said in October, when the new clause was inserted into contracts: “Like other mobile providers, our pay monthly plans are subject to an annual price change. We have taken the decision to apply an annual fixed percentage increase of 4.5% for new and upgrading customers from 29 October 2020. This means, for example, that a £20 per month contract will see an increase of 90p per month. This change will be applied in April 2021."

The 4.5% price hike affects customers with mobile and tablet contracts, those on SIM-only deals, and people with mobile broadband from Three. Customers of Three’s 5G home broadband service, which uses the next-generation mobile network to deliver connections, will also be impacted.

All pay-monthly customers who took out a new deal or renewed between 29 May 2015 and 28 October 2020, will see price hikes of 1.4% from their May bill. Contracts signed between these dates state bills can rise in line with January’s retail prices index (RPI), a measure of inflation. The RPI for January was confirmed as 1.4% last week.

Customers who joined or last renewed before 29 May 2015 won’t see their bills increase. However, if you haven’t renegotiated your contract in six years or more you’re almost certainly out of contract and paying much higher prices than you should be. Entering a new contract with Three or with a competitor could save you significantly.

Three’s pay-as-you-go mobile customers won’t see their prices rise this spring but were just hit with a major pricing overhaul on 16 February.

A spokesperson for Three said: “We are investing £2 billion in the UK’s fastest 5G network to ensure we have a strong network, capable of delivering better connectivity, every day, for every customer.”

Vodafone will also hike prices by up to 4.5% for its mobile and home broadband customers. The exact changes you’ll see on your bill depends on your deal and when you signed up.

Pay-monthly mobile customers who took out a new deal or renewed after 9 December will see their bills rise by 4.5% from April. This includes customers with SIM-only deals, including Vodafone Basics plans and those with mobile, tablet and gadget contracts, including for Apple and Samsung watches and OneNumber plans for those watches.

These price increases were included in any contract signed after 9 December so you won’t be able to duck out of your contract without facing early termination charges. The new contracts allow Vodafone to increase prices each year in April using the previous December’s consumer prices index (CPI) measure of inflation plus 3.9%. The CPI in December was 0.6%, as confirmed last month, so the total bill increase this April for Vodafone customers will be 4.5%.

If you signed up or renewed your mobile contract before 9 December 2020, your annual bill increases in April are calculated using Vodafone’s old formula of the February RPI, as announced in March. You’ll have to wait until the RPI is announced to see how much your bill will rise. Over the last year, it ranged between 0.5% and 2.6%.

Some customers of Vodafone’s home broadband business, which had 876,000 subscribers at the end of last year, will also see their prices increase. If you sign a broadband contract with Vodafone between 9 December 2020 and tomorrow, 23 February, your bills will increase in April by February’s RPI, to be announced in March.

But if you sign up for a new deal from Wednesday, 24 February, your bills will remain the same this year but rise in April 2022, by the December 2021 CPI, to be published in January 2022, plus 3.9%.

A spokesperson for Vodafone said: “We recognise no one wants to see price rises, but these are necessary for us to continue investing in our networks, products and services.”

BT and EE also announced similar price hikes of up to 4.5% to take effect this spring and Sky is also increasing prices for its broadband and pay-TV customers by up to £72 a year.

Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith has worked as a journalist and copywriter for most of the last decade, covering technology, energy, and consumer rights, in the US and UK.

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