Tesco Mobile to hike prices by 14.4% for some pay monthly customers in April – here's how to beat the hikes
Pay monthly Tesco Mobile customers whose contracts expired before 1 February 2023 will see their mobile bills increase this spring by 14.4%, the mobile provider has announced. Going forward, you'll also need a Clubcard to avoid mid-contract price rises. But affected users can sign up to a new plan or cancel penalty-free to avoid this year's hikes. Here's what you need to know.
Tesco Mobile, which has 5 million customers, currently freezes prices for the duration of your contract across all its pay monthly plans. However, from 27 March, this will only apply to its 'Clubcard Price' deals – which you'll need a Clubcard to get.
The move comes after industry regulator Ofcom announced it would investigate the practice of mid-contract price hikes, amid concerns telecoms providers aren't being clear enough about what customers can expect to pay over the course of their contracts.
Other major providers including EE, O2 and Three have already announced price rises of up to 17.3% for their mobile customers from this spring – see our firm-by-firm round-up of broadband and mobile price hikes for more info.
If you're out of contract, you don't have to accept any price hikes – use our Broadband Unbundled and Cheap Mobile Finder tools to compare the latest deals and see how much how you could save by switching.
Who's affected by this year's Tesco Mobile price hikes
Today's news only affects pay monthly customers – pay-as-you-go customers WON'T see prices rise.
For pay monthly users, whether your prices will rise depends on your contract status and the type of plan you're on:
- If your contract expired before 1 February 2023, your price will rise by 14.4% this April. You can avoid this hike by upgrading to ANY Tesco Mobile plan before 27 March 2023, or a Clubcard Price plan on or after 27 March 2023. Alternatively, you can ditch and switch penalty-free.
- If your contract expired or expires between 1 February 2023 and 31 January 2024, your price will rise from April 2024. The increase will be based on December's consumer prices index rate of inflation published in January of that year, plus 3.9 percentage points. Again, you can avoid this by upgrading to a Clubcard Price plan or ditching and switching after your contract ends.
- If you're currently in contract, and you joined before 27 March 2023, your price WON'T rise for the duration of your contract. Once your contract ends, you'll be subject to an annual price rise each April.
- If you join Tesco Mobile or sign up to a new deal on or after 27 March 2023, your price WILL rise mid-contract starting in April 2024, unless you're on a Clubcard Price plan.
Going forward, you'll need a Clubcard to avoid mid-contract, above inflation price hikes with Tesco Mobile
Until now, Tesco Mobile had frozen prices for the duration of contracts across all of its pay monthly mobile plans – in other words, there were no mid-contract price hikes.
However, from 27 March, this will ONLY apply to its Clubcard Price deals, which you'll need a Tesco Clubcard to get. You can join Tesco Clubcard online and print off a temporary card to scan in stores, or download the app (available on Android and iOS), which lets you sign up and scan a digital version.
Tesco Mobile customers on other plans will see their prices rise each April in line with the consumer prices index rate of inflation published in January of that year, plus 3.9 percentage points.
Want to stay with Tesco Mobile? Change plans or try haggling
If you take out ANY new deal with Tesco Mobile before 27 March 2023 OR one of its Clubcard Price deals from 27 March 2023, you won't need to worry about your bill going up mid-contract – your prices will be frozen for the length of your contract.
You could also try haggling, though there are no guarantees. In our latest poll, only around half of those who tried said they had any success getting a better deal with Tesco Mobile.
MSE top tip: Want to keep the same signal and still cut costs? Tesco Mobile 'piggybacks' off the O2 network – as do several other providers. This means you have lots of choice over where to switch to. For example, you can currently get:
- 3GB data, unlimited calls and texts for an equivalent £2.38 a month with Lyca Mobile
- 5GB data, unlimited calls and texts for £6 a month with Virgin Mobile
- 15GB data, unlimited calls and texts for £8 a month with O2
Before switching, bear in mind these providers may also increase costs – O2 and Virgin Mobile, for example, will increase prices by up to 17.3% from 1 April.
Use our Cheap Mobile Finder tool to compare these and other deals using O2's signal (the tool will show you any upcoming price hikes).
If you're unhappy about this year's hikes, you CAN leave penalty-free
As this April's hikes only affect those out of contract, the good news is you can leave at any point penalty-free – and given the best mobile deals tend to be for newbies, there's a decent chance you're overpaying anyway.
However, there's no point in leaving in a huff if your current deal is still the cheapest out there and bear in mind that other providers may up prices too. Check rival providers' prices using our Cheap Mobile Finder tool.
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