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Broadband and mobile customers to be hit with price hikes of up to 14% in April – here's what you need to know

Broadband and mobile customers to be hit with price hikes of up to 14% in April – here's what you need to know

Millions of BT, EE, Plusnet, Shell, TalkTalk, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone customers will be hit with price hikes of up to 14.4% this spring, on the back of a sharp increase in the cost of living. We've a handy table below on what's happening and who's affected.

Providers can increase prices mid-contract by the rate of inflation plus an extra amount on top (usually around 4 percentage points), as set out in their terms and conditions.

This year, several of the firms blame the increases on their underlying and operating costs going up substantially as a result of regulatory requirements, higher energy prices and increased network costs.

But 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.

Here's how much prices will rise by in April

Many of the biggest providers use the December consumer prices index (CPI) rate of inflation as part of their price rise calculation. This CPI figure – 10.5% – was published today (Wednesday 18 January), so we now know the exact price hikes most providers will implement – though some are yet to confirm how their prices will change.

Major telecoms firms: upcoming price hikes

Provider

How much prices will rise by When hikes will come in

BT

All BT broadband, landline, mobile and TV users (barring exclusions below) 14.4%
This is December's consumer prices index (CPI) figure + 3.9 percentage points
31 Mar 23
Landline-only users, and users on Home Essentials, Basic or Home Phone Saver (which are plans for those receiving benefits) No price rise  N/A

EE

All broadband, landline and mobile users (barring exclusions below)
14.4%
December's CPI figure + 3.9 percentage points
31 Mar 23
Pay-as-you-go users and EE Mobile Basics users (Basics is a plan for those receiving benefits) No price rise N/A

Now – yet to confirm its approach for 2023

Now does not use inflation figures as the basis for its broadband price rises. While its terms do allow it to hike prices for customers mid-contract, it did not do this last year. It's yet to confirm the approach it will take this year.

O2

Pay-monthly and Sim-only users with mobiles, tablets and/or smart watches who took out a deal or upgraded from 25 March 2021 TBC
This will be January's Retail Prices Index (RPI) figure (published in February) + 3.9 percentage points.
If you're on an O2 Refresh package, the rise will only apply to the airtime plan (what you pay for calls, texts and data), not the device plan.
1 Apr 23
Pay-monthly and Sim-only users with mobiles, tablets and/or smart watches who took out a deal or upgraded before 25 March 2021 TBC
January's RPI figure (published in February). 
If you're on an O2 Refresh package, the rise will only apply to the airtime plan, not the device plan.
1 Apr 23
Pay-as-you-go users No change N/A

Plusnet

Broadband and landline users who signed up after 6 Oct 20

14.4%
December's CPI figure + 3.9 percentage points
31 Mar 23
Broadband and landline users who signed up before 7 Oct 20 14.4%
December's CPI figure + 3.9 percentage points
Though this rise will only apply to call costs while within your contract's fixed term. As soon as your contract ends, prices will rise by 14.4% on your entire bill.
31 Mar 23
All Plusnet mobile users 14.4%
December's CPI figure + 3.9 percentage points
31 Mar 23

Shell

Broadband and landline users who signed up before 9 Jan 23 (1) Up to 13.5% (exact rise TBC)
December's CPI figure + up to 3 percentage points
1 Apr 23
Broadband and landline users who signed up on or after 9 Jan 23 No price change until April 24 N/A

Sky

Broadband, home phone and TV users Sky has so far not used the CPI inflation figures as the basis for its broadband price hikes. Last year, it upped prices by an average of £43 a year instead. It's yet to confirm the approach it will take this year.
Mobile users who are out of contract 9% (on average)
See our Sky Mobile price hikes story for full info
14 Feb 23
Mobile users who are in contract No price change N/A

TalkTalk

Broadband and landline users (barring exclusions below) 14.2%
This is December's CPI figure (published in January) + 3.7 percentage points
1 Apr 23
Fixed Price Plus customers out of minimum contract period 10.5%
December's CPI figure (published in January)
1 Apr 23
Fixed Price Plus and Pre-Pay Saver customers within their minimum contract period No price change N/A
TalkTalk TV add-on users TalkTalk does not use the CPI inflation figures for price rises on its TV package. Last year, it upped prices from £4 a month to £5 a month. So far, it hasn't confirmed any price changes for this year.
TalkTalk's "most vulnerable customers" (2) No price change N/A

Three

Broadband and mobile users who signed up before 29 Oct 20 and haven't upgraded since TBC
This will be January's RPI figure, published in February 
1 May 23
Broadband and mobile users who joined between 29 Oct 20 and 31 Oct 22 4.5% 1 Apr 23
Broadband and mobile users who joined on or after 1 Nov 22 14.4%
December’s CPI figure + 3.9 percentage points
1 Apr 23

Virgin Media

Broadband, landline and TV users (barring exclusions below) 13.8% (on average)
See our Virgin Media price hikes story for full info
1 Apr or 1 May 23
Users on Essential broadband or Talk Protected phone-only plans and "vulnerable" customers No price change N/A

Virgin Mobile

Pay-monthly and Sim-only users TBC
This will be January's RPI figure (published in February) + 3.9 percentage points

Virgin Mobile users will be migrated to O2 this year, and will be subject to O2's price change formula from 2024.
1 Apr 23

Vodafone – yet to confirm its approach for 2023

Mobile, tablet or smart watch users who signed up after 8 Dec 20 TBC
Last year: December's CPI figure + 3.9 percentage points
TBC
Last year: 1 Apr
Mobile, tablet or smart watch users who signed up before 9 Dec 20 TBC
Last year: February's RPI figure
TBC
Last year: 1 Apr
Home broadband and landline users who signed up on or after 2 Feb 21 TBC
Last year: December's CPI figure + 3.9 percentage points
TBC
Last year: 1 Apr
Home broadband and landline users who signed up before 2 Feb 21 TBC
Last year: February's RPI figure

TBC

Last year: 1 Apr

(1) Shell initially told us that all customers are subject to its annual price rise. It has since clarified that those who signed up on or after 9 January 2023 will not see a price increase until 2024. (2) TalkTalk told us it assesses vulnerability "across a wide range of criteria" on a case-by-case basis, but wouldn't specify which customers this would apply to.

Millions of customers are out of contract and free to leave, so check if you can switch and save

These firms have millions of customers who are out of contract and have simply been rolled on to often pricier tariffs without signing up for them. But if that's you, you can leave at any point penalty-free - and given the best broadband and mobile deals tend to be for newbies, there's a good chance you're overpaying anyway. Benchmark prices elsewhere and switch if you can get a cheaper deal.

See full help in our How to find cheap broadband deals guide and use our Broadband Unbundled and Cheap Mobile Finder tools to see what other deals are out there.

Alternatively, if you're willing to stay, you can try haggling and see if your provider will match or beat a deal you've found elsewhere. Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk, Three, and O2 are among the top 10 companies to haggle with, according to our latest poll of MSE users. See our broadband haggling and mobile haggling guides for more help.

Within your minimum contract term? In most cases, you CAN'T cancel penalty-free

If you're in contract – meaning you actively signed up to a new tariff within the last year or possibly two (do check) – the price rise will likely be part of that contract. In most cases this means you won't be able to cancel penalty-free.

Virgin Media is an exception here – its price hikes for this year were not written into contracts, so you can leave without having to pay early termination fees. See our Virgin Media price hikes story for full info.

In other cases, if you're unhappy with the price rise, you should note when your contract's due to end and start looking for new deals nearer the time.

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