Personal Finance

Mobile phone bills to rise by 14.4% this month – here’s what you can do

Mobile phone bills will rise by 14.4% from this month for millions of customers across the UK.

Monthly and SIM-only contracts can rise by inflation plus 3-3.9% mid-contract for most phone companies from April 1.

That means some bills will rise by up to 14.4%.

EE, Three and Vodafone are some of the suppliers who are contractually allowed to increase their bills. Broadband contracts are also affected.

There has long been outrage at phone companies' ability to raise bills mid-contract, with Ofgem announcing in February it was launching an investigation into the practice.

Not all bills will rise on April 1, but suppliers will be allowed to roll out the price hikes from this month. Companies have to give 30 days’ notice before price rises are implemented.

In January, when the price hikes were first calculated, Ofgem said it was “concerned” about inflation-linked price rises in contracts. A spokesperson said: “We’re examining this issue to ensure customers’ interests are protected.”

How to save money on your phone bill

To avoid inflation-busting price rises, it's possible to check how much you need to pay to exit a phone contract early. Text 'INFO' to 85075 for free to find out. If you know roughly how much you pay each month you can use this to calculate how long you have left in your contract. Alternatively you can check by logging into your account.

If the early exit fee is quite high it may be worth holding tight until closer to the end of your contract. Even some SIM-only deals lock customers in for a set period, so it's worth looking before jumping to a cheaper deal.

To find the best mobile phone contract and SIM deals for you, we've partnered with Uswitch.

Using a comparison site is the best way to see all the deals available. We’ve partnered with Uswitch to help you choose the best mobile phone plan for contract or SIM-only.

Switching providers while keeping the same phone number is simple and can be done without assistance. Text PAC to 65075 on your current phone to start the process, with text messages guiding you step by step.

Small providers use the signal from one of EE, O2, Vodafone or Three so if you’re wanting to stick to one of the big four, it could be worth investigating a smaller company to see whose signal they piggyback onto. USwitch shows this information when you click into a deal on its website.

It can also be advantageous to haggle with your provider.

Start comparing new contracts on the market a month before yours ends so you can find cheaper deals to put to your current provider. They may offer you a better price or additional perks (just make sure the perks are something you’d use). If they don’t, say you’d like to leave and the dedicated retention team may offer you something better. We’ve partnered with Uswitch to offer a comparison service to our readers, which you can use by clicking the box below.

To find the best mobile phone contract and SIM deals for you, we've partnered with Uswitch.

Cheap broadband: Social tariff

A little-known discount on broadband and landline phone packages called a social tariff is available for people claiming a number of benefits. Customers could save more than £200 by switching.

Those claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits are eligible for the discounted social tariff.

BT customers can save £260.16 if they switched from its normal broadband and phone package to its social tariff. That is £21.68 a month.

Vodafone customers save £14 a month, or £168 a year on its social tariff.

For more information on social tariffs, click here.

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Helen Barnett

Helen is a journalist, editor and copywriter with 15 years' experience writing across print and digital publications. She previously edited the Daily Express website and has won awards as a reporter. Read more here.


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