EE blames rising business costs for increases that will affect 5.5 million customers
Orange and T-Mobile pay monthly customers face price hikes of 79p a month on their existing contracts after parent company EE said that “rising business costs” had forced its hand. The increases are set to affect 5.5 million customers on the two networks but will provide EE with a £52 million windfall.
Subscribers are unlikely to be thrilled by the prospect of having to pay more for their mobile deal, but EE has said that its terms and conditions state that prices can be increased during a contract at the same rate as the Retail Prices Index, which measures inflation.
Mid-contract price increases
The operator has offered customers the chance to protect themselves against future price increases by offering an option to fix their monthly plan by adding an additional sum of between 50p and £2 a month, depending on the price plan.
“Price increases to monthly bills, set to come into effect in March and April, will be a blow to EE’s customers, especially considering the ever-increasing cost of living,” commented Adam Kirby, telecoms expert at uSwitch. “However, the network is providing customers with a ‘get out of jail card’ by offering a fixed price option. This innovative alternative will not only give customers a way to avoid these increases, but will also shelter them from any future rises.”
Both T-Mobile and Orange have implemented mid-contract price increases before and telecoms regulator Ofcom is becoming increasingly concerned about the practice. It has called for operators to be more transparent about the potential for price rises and has proposed a plan to let users exit their mobile deal without penalty if prices are increased.
The regulator said it had considered a complete ban on mid-contract price rises, but said this would most likely not fall in line with European laws.
This first appeared on TechWeekEurope UK. Read the whole story here.