Three, O2 and Vodafone customers will be annoyed when they see their next phone bill

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Three, O2 and Vodafone customers will be annoyed when they see their next phone bill
It’s that time of the year – broadband and phone companies are hiking bills for customers who are currently in-contract. Earlier this week, BT and EE customers saw their bills rise and now Three, O2 and Vodafone are following suit. If you’re currently paying for broadband, a pay monthly phone, or SIM-only deal with any of these popular firms, we’ve got the complete lowdown on how much extra you’ll be paying …and whether or not you can leave over this current batch of increases.
First up, Three will introduce its new prices from April 1, 2021 onwards. Existing customers will be confronted with a 4.5 percent rise – that’s the same rate applied to BT and EE customers earlier this week. The 4.5 percent increase will apply to any customers who renewed their contract or took out a new one after October 29, 2020. This includes customers with a pay-monthly phone or tablet contract, home broadband or mobile internet contract with Three.

So, if your current contract costs £15 a month, you can expect to pay an extra 67p a month. Not too bad, eh?

However, if you’re paying for a top-tier flagship phone – like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G with 256GB with unlimited 5G data, unlimited calls and texts – with a monthly contract that costs £72, you can expect to see a much bigger increase. £3.20 to be exact, or an extra £38 over the course of the year.

If you’ve been with Three a little longer than October 29, 2020 – or haven’t renewed your contract as recently, there is a different price hike. Those who took out a contract or renewed between May 29, 2015 and October 28, 2020, won’t see a price hike to their monthly bills until May 1, 2021.

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And better still, those customers will only see a 1.4 percent increase to current costs. That’s because Three customers during this period signed up to different terms and conditions, which only allows bills to rise in-line with January’s Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation, which is now confirmed as 1.4 percent for this year.

Anyone who took out a Three deal before May 29, 2015 won’t face any increase at all.

Likewise, Vodafone customers will face different price increases depending on when they took out their contract, or last renewed.

Those who signed up to a new contract or renewed from December 9, 2020 will see their monthly bills increase from April 1, 2021. And like Three, BT, and EE customers, it will be 4.5 percent. That most likely means customers will need to find an extra £2 or so each month, or around £25 extra each year.

Vodafone has confirmed that pay-monthly, SIM-only, smartphone and tablet contracts, as well as those who pay for an Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch with a monthly contract will be impacted by the latest rise. To calculate its rise, Vodafone relies on the CPI measure of inflation announced in January + 3.9 percent. As published in January, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) was confirmed to be set at 0.7 percent.

Vodafone customers who signed-up to a home broadband deal from February 24, 2021 onwards, your monthly bills won’t rise until April 1, 2022. As above, it will be the CPI published early next year, plus the same 3.9 percent extra.

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The CPI is designed to be a measure of whether the cost of goods and services across several industries is rising or falling in the UK. To do this, CPI takes a basket of goods (food, clothes, petrol) and looking at what they cost last year, what they cost now, and calculating the difference. Crucially, the CPI leaves the cost of your home out of the basket – so any rises to mortgage payments, rent and council tax aren’t taken into account in the new rate.

O2 customers can also expect to see their Direct Debit increase on April 1, 2021. Unlike the above, these rises will be 1.4 percent extra. The price hike will impact anyone who signed-up to their O2 contract after January 23, 2014 …so, most current customers. If you’re still rocking a pre-January 2014 contract and haven’t renewed or made any changes, your price remains the same.

O2 says it’s writing to all those who will be impacted by the price rise to let them know in advance. As with all of the price rises listed so far, customers won’t be able to cancel penalty-free unless they’re already out of the minimum contracted period as these rises are all in black-and-white in the contracts.


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