Vodafone pay-monthly customers who are outside the minimum term of their contract in June will be slapped with an annual price increase of up to £42 - but you can dodge the hike without paying a penny.
In June all customers who are out of their minimum term - though to number 100,000s - will see a monthly price rise of between 50p and £3.50 (the extent of the increase will depend on your individual price plan).
Vodafone is in the process of notifying those affected by the unexpected increase, with many customers receiving a text message that outlines the nature of their hike.
You can beat the hike without paying a penalty
There are a couple of tricks you can try if you're not prepared to stomach this latest price hike.
Your first option is to simply walk away from Vodafone by cancelling your deal - crucially, because you are technically 'out of contract', you won't have to pay a penalty charge. However, you will have to give the firm 30 days' notice, so act fast if you want to be out by June.
Another option is to use the price hike to your advantage and haggle a better deal.
Whenever a mobile firm hikes prices, it's a prime opportunity to haggle a better offering, as long as you're willing to stay. As you're able to leave penalty-free, that puts you in a much better bargaining position. See full help in our Mobile Haggling guide, but to get you started:
- Benchmark the best deals. Make sure you know what top deals are around for your usage as a basis for negotiation. See our top picks in the Cheap Mobiles guide, or use our top pick comparison site MobilePhoneChecker*.
- Check your current usage. Knowing how much you use your phone and what you use it for is crucial to getting the right deal.
- Ask for the 'disconnections' department. When speaking to your provider, ask for 'disconnections'. Their job is actually to retain customers, and they have more power and discretion to do it.
- Don't say 'yes' to the first offer they give. Chances are, it's not the best deal they can do. Remember, be firm.
- Problems mean discounts. If you've had issues with the network in the past – for example, errors with billing or poor coverage – then politely tell them when you haggle, and obviously tell them you're calling because of the latest price hike. They should want to try to make it up to you.
What does Vodafone say?
A spokesperson said: "We can confirm that some pay-monthly customers, who are out of contract, will see an increase of between 50p and £3.50 per month depending on their price plan.
"They can move at any time to one of our new plans which give them unlimited texts, more or unlimited calls, far more data as well as our new roaming offers. All they need to do is call us on 191 or visit our website."