EE is to hike the monthly cost of some broadband and landline packages and some call costs from 17 January - though it won't yet give full info on what's changing.
The telecoms firm has begun contacting some affected customers this week, but says it will take until 13 December to notify everyone whose bills are changing.
Here's what we know so far, and what you can do about it. See our How to get cheap broadband guide for more on cutting your broadband and landline costs.
Which prices are changing?
EE won't give full details of what's happening, but we do know:
- All affected customers are being notified. So if your price is changing you should get a letter or email within the next month.
- The monthly cost of some broadband and landline packages is going up. We don't yet know which packages or by how much - though one MoneySaver who's been in touch has been told their broadband bill will go up by £2.05/mth.
- Out-of-allowance call charges are also going up. The following will go up by 1p: the connection charge to call a UK landline will go up to 21p, the connection charge to call a UK mobile to 21p, the per min charge for calls to UK landlines to 13.5p, the per min charge for calls to UK mobiles to 16p and the international call connection charge to 21p.
- Some customers will actually have their bills cut. Again, we don't yet have any details.
- There are no changes to mobile phone bills. This affects broadband and landline customers only.
EE says any customers who are able to leave their contract penalty-free as a result of the price hikes will be given a date by which they need to notify EE if they want to leave.
Can I leave my contract penalty-free?
EE says any customers who are able to leave penalty-free as a result of the price hikes will be told via letter or email and given a deadline by which they need to notify EE if they want to leave. If you are out of your contract's minimum term, you can cancel penalty-free at any time.
If you have a TV and broadband bundle and are told you will be able to leave penalty-free, EE's confirmed you will be able to cancel both the TV and broadband elements of your contract.
Bear in mind that providers across the board have been hiking prices so there's little point simply leaving because you're annoyed. But check if you can find a cheaper deal elsewhere (compare broadband with our Broadband Unbundled tool or see our Cheap Broadband guide for help).
What if EE doesn't say I can leave penalty-free - can I challenge it?
This may be tricky, as EE's terms and conditions usually state it may increase prices mid-contract.
There is, however, a rule set by the telecoms regulator Ofcom that means you can escape your contract penalty-free if you can successfully prove you've suffered "material detriment" as a result of a price increase.
If this applies to you, you'll need to contact EE, which has said it will consider these issues on a case-by-case basis. See more in Ofcom's guidance.
Haggle, haggle, haggle
Alternatively, if you're willing to stick with EE, this is a major chance to haggle a much better deal – especially as you'll have the right to leave penalty-free if they don't give you one.
See our Broadband Haggling guide for detailed tips, but for starters here are a few...
- Benchmark the best deal elsewhere so you ask for a realistic discount.
- Get through to the retentions (sometimes called disconnections) department. They have the most power to slash costs, as their job is to keep you.
- Use charm and be friendly. Aggression or anger will just put their back up.
- Don't panic if they call your bluff and say they'll disconnect you.
What does EE say?
An EE spokesperson said: "The actual change a customer will receive depends on the plan they are on, with some actually receiving a reduction in the amount they pay each month.
"EE remains one of the most competitive providers in the market and we’re committed to offering our customers the best value and service. As part of this we’ve invested in improving our customer service team’s ability to provide the best possible service, and we remain one of the only providers to answer all of our customers calls in the UK and Ireland."