MSE News

EE to increase pay-monthly mobile prices by 2.2%

Millions of EE customers on monthly mobile contracts will be hit by a 2.2% price rise next month, can reveal.

The telecoms firm is contacting monthly contract customers to tell them their costs will be going up in line with December's Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation figure from Monday 30 March.

The increase will affect all EE pay-monthly mobile customers, but not pay-as-you-go customers. EE confirmed that millions will see bills rise, though it wouldn't give a precise figure for the number of those affected.

While EE is the first of the major networks to announce mid-contract price rises this year, they have become standard practice for all the major providers. Last year EE customers saw a 2.7% increase, while bills for O2, Three and Vodafone pay-monthly customers all rose by 2.5%.

For more help on cutting your bill, see our 30+ Cheap Mobile Tips and our Best Sim only Deals guide.

I'm mid-contract – can I leave penalty-free?

Unfortunately you're unlikely to be able to. Mobile firms CAN increase prices mid-contract in line with inflation without you being able to leave penalty-free, as long as they include a warning about this in their terms and conditions – which EE does. So you can't just up and leave.

A rule from telecoms regulator Ofcom 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 – but it would be very hard to prove an RPI increase had caused this.

If you're unhappy with the price rise and are currently mid-contract, make sure you note down when your contract is due to end, and start looking for new deals about a month before. However, bear in mind that many mobile firms hike prices by inflation every year – so unfortunately this could happen if you move elsewhere.

Out of contract? Try to haggle or switch

If you're out of your minimum contract term, you can leave straightaway without paying any penalty, and there's a good chance you can save by switching to a better deal – especially if your original contract involved paying for a handset, or if you haven't checked for a better deal in a while.

Most should NEVER pay over £10/month for mobile use. At the moment, top Sim only deals for low data users include 1GB of data and unlimited calls and texts from Talkmobile for £5/mth, while those looking for more data can get 6GB with unlimited calls and texts from Smarty for £7/mth. See our Cheap Mobiles and Best Sim only Deals guides for full details and help on finding a cheap tariff.

Alternatively, if you're willing to stick with your network, this is a chance to haggle a better deal – especially as you have the right to leave penalty-free.

See our Mobile Haggling guide for more detailed tips, but here are a few to get you started:

  • 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?

A spokesperson for EE said: "Like many service providers, our pay monthly plans increase by RPI annually, and this year customers on our most popular plan will typically see an increase of 58p a month.

"We're currently contacting our customers to remind them this will take effect from 30 March 2020."

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