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O2 and Three mobile customers face price hike

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Pay-monthly O2 and Three mobile customers face a price hike from April.

The mobile operators base price rises on January’s Retail Price Inflation (RPI) figure which was today revealed to be 2.7%.

As such, pay-monthly customers will see prices rise by the same amount.

O2 pay-monthly customers who took out or upgraded a deal since 23 January 2014 will pay higher prices from April.

Three customers who took out or upgraded a pay-monthly deal from 29 May 2015 will be hit with the increase in May. Three said it will be contacting customers from March onwards, but the price rise will affect SIM only, pay-monthly, mobile broadband and 4G home broadband contracts.

A spokesperson for Three said: “Like other mobile providers, our pay monthly plans are subject to an annual price increase. This year, our customers will see an increase of 2.7% in line with the January RPI rate of inflation published by the ONS. This means, for example, that a Three customer paying £20 per month will see an increase of 54p per month.  

“We understand that price increases can be frustrating, which is why we are adamant that our customers deserve the best mobile experience. We are building the UK’s fastest 5G network and have committed to giving all new and existing Three customers access to 5G with no speed caps and at no extra cost for this service. We are also committed to providing worry-free roaming in 71 worldwide destinations, even after Brexit.”

An O2 spokesperson said: “We’re currently finalising plans and will shortly be updating our customers with the annual RPI percentage adjustment. Unlike some other operators who apply RPI increases to bundled tariffs, increasing both the handset and airtime costs, O2 Refresh customers only have this rate applied to their Airtime Plan.”

EE announced earlier this month that monthly mobile customers will see their bills rise by 2.2% from 30 March. The increase is in line with December’s RPI figure.

Can you switch?

Mobile phone providers are allowed to raise prices each year by the RPI rate so you won’t be able to exit your deal penalty free unless you can prove “material detriment”, Ofcom says.

If you’re out of contract, however, you should be able to switch deal. It’s worth remembering though that most providers hike prices RPI once a year, so the same could happen with a new operator.