Three and Vodafone customers to be hit with up to 4.5% price hikes
Three and Vodafone customers will be hit with price hikes of up to 4.5% over the next few months, the telecoms providers have confirmed. But only those who are out of contract can cancel penalty-free.
Update: 25 March 2021: Vodafone has now confirmed that prices will rise by 1.4% from April 2021 for all customers who last took out a deal before 9 December 2020. Home broadband customers who last took out a deal between 9 December 2020 and 23 February 2021 will also be hit with 1.4% hikes from April 2021. See our Vodafone to hike monthly bills MSE News story for full info.
This affects almost all pay-monthly customers. The exact increase depends on the product you have, when you signed up or upgraded your plan, as well as which provider you're a customer of. Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) users are unaffected.
The price hikes are written into customer contracts – as we reported in our Vodafone and Three to hike prices next year MSE News story – so you won't be able to leave either firm penalty-free unless you're outside your minimum contract term. Three and Vodafone say they're investing in improving their networks.
If your bill is about to rocket, read our How to Haggle guide for top tips on how to negotiate prices down.
Most Three customers will be hit with price hikes of 4.5% or 1.4%
The way your bill will change depends on when you signed up to your current deal:
- Took out a new deal or renewed from 29 October 2020? You'll be hit with a hike of 4.5% from your April bill. This affects all pay-monthly customers, including those with mobile and tablet contracts, Sim-only deals, mobile broadband and home broadband. This 4.5% was already confirmed by Three last year when it added the clause to contracts.
- Took out a new deal or renewed between 29 May 2015 and 28 October 2020? You'll be hit with a hike of 1.4% from your May bill. This affects all pay-monthly customers, including those with mobile contracts, Sim-only deals, mobile broadband and home broadband. These contracts state that bills can rise in line with January's Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation, confirmed as 1.4% this week.
- Took out a new deal or renewed before 29 May 2015? You won't face a price hike. Three says you won't see a price increase at this time. However, if you last signed a deal before this date, you're likely paying over the odds, so it's worth checking and seeing if you could benchmark a cheaper deal elsewhere. Use our Cheap Mobile Finder tool to find the best deal for you.
Separately, Three hit PAYG mobile customers with data, call and text price hikes this week.
Most Vodafone customers will be hit with price hikes of up to 4.5%
The rise depends on when you signed up to your current deal and on what product you have. The only Vodafone pay-monthly or Sim-only customers who won't see an increase are those on Vodafone's 'Broadband Extra' tariff where prices won't change, so the following applies to everyone else.
- Took out a new deal or renewed – excluding home broadband customers – from 9 December 2020? You'll be hit with a hike of 4.5% from your April bill. This affects pay-monthly and Sim-only customers with mobile and tablet contracts, as well as those with Apple and Samsung watch contracts, 'OneNumber' contracts and those with 'Vodafone Basics' plans.
Vodafone confirmed last year that it would raise prices for these customers from April 2021 using the previous December's Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation (as announced in January) + 3.9%. CPI was confirmed as 0.6% last month, giving an overall increase of 4.5%.
- Took out a new deal before 9 December 2020? We don't know the April price rises yet. Your April bill will increase by the February 2021 RPI figure of inflation as announced in March. We don't know what this figure is yet, but over the past year RPI has ranged between 0.5% and 2.6%. The highest it has been in the past three years is 4% in January 2018.
- Took out a home broadband deal between 9 December 2020 and 23 February 2021? We don't know exact April increases yet. These customers will see bills rise by February's RPI figure as announced in March. Given we don't know this figure yet, we don't know how much bills will rise by.
- Take out a home broadband deal from 24 February 2021 and prices will rise from April 2022. Your bill will rise based on the December 2021 CPI inflation measure published in January 2022, plus 3.9%.
You won't be able to leave unless you're out of contract
If you're affected by any of the rises above, you won't be able to leave unless you're outside of your minimum contract term. This is because the providers have written these increases into their terms and conditions, so you would have been aware of them when you signed up.
If you're unhappy, note down when your contract's due to end and start looking for new deals as soon as it's nearly up – or, if you want to stay, try to haggle your price down. Use our Cheap Mobile Finder tool to find the best deal for you and see below for more on haggling.
If you're out of contract use this as a trigger to check if it's worth switching
Out-of-contract customers, who are likely to be overpaying anyway, can leave free of charge at any time by giving 30 days' notice. Benchmark prices elsewhere and switch if you can get a cheaper deal.
Alternatively, you could haggle with Vodafone or Three to see if it'll match or beat a deal you've found elsewhere. See our Haggling with Service Providers guide for some top tips on what to do.
Other telecoms firms are hiking prices too
The news from Three and Vodafone follows confirmation from other providers of similar hikes:
- BT and EE will increase prices by up to 4.5% for broadband, home phone, mobile and TV customers from Wednesday 31 March.
- Sky has confirmed up to £72 a year hikes for millions of broadband, home phone and TV customers (mobile users are not affected) from Thursday 1 April.
If your bill is about to rise, check out our How to Haggle guide for help on how to negotiate your bills down.
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