"" This time next week, millions of internet and mobile phone users may have to pay 17.3% more expensive bills.

This time next week, millions of internet and mobile phone users may have to pay 17.3% more expensive bills.

However, millions of mobile phone users will also see price increases starting on April 1, 2023, not just internet consumers. Millions of internet and mobile phone users will see a 17.3% price hike on their bills in just one week.


Each April, several broadband and mobile providers hike their prices by the CPI plus an additional 3–9.9%. People are frequently forced to accept this new pricing in the middle of their contracts or pay steep exit costs to terminate them early.


But, because 11 million people are not under contract, if they move before the price increases next week, they will not be subject to the price increases. It comes as industry watchdog Ofcom started an investigation to see if customers have enough information about price rises mid-contract.


Uswitch has also been fighting to change providers so all customers can exit contracts without incurring penalties when prices rise. According to the price comparison website, service providers who impose inflationary rises should either offer contracts with set prices throughout or allow customers to terminate their contracts early without incurring penalties.


Uswitch telecom specialist Ernest Doku stated: "The effects of the price increases in April can still be avoided. Customers of mobile and broadband services should check immediately to see if they can transfer providers to avoid paying more than necessary.


"Numerous consumers now without contracts can still protect themselves from most of these inflation-busting price rises.


You might move to a quicker and more dependable product while paying less each month, while future price increases might still apply to start in many situations in 2024.


This time next week, millions of internet and mobile phone users may have to pay 17.3% more expensive bills.



Who charges the most for an early exit?


Some internet service providers have affirmed they will take further steps to support disadvantaged and low-income households. For instance, Vodaphone is automatically exempting from this year's price increases clients it has determined to be financially weak.

TalkTalk stated that it would automatically exempt its most financially disadvantaged clients. However, it did not specify how this would be announced or what criteria it would use to determine this.


Mid-contract price increases can be disastrous for financially struggling clients, so providers provide set rates with their social tariffs immune from annual increases.


The consumer advocate determined how much a low-income BT, EE, Plusnet, TalkTalk, or Vodafone client (those earning £21,000 or less a year) may see their payments increase based on the average amounts paid by low-income consumers in Whichmost ?'s recent broadband study.

It was discovered that this group might see payouts increase by £77 annually. They anticipate an average increase of $52 a year and will likely pay £431 a year for broadband, which is at least 2% of their annual income.


Customers of BT paid the highest monthly pricing of all the firms. Which? Examined, and from next week, they might experience an annual hike of about £60. Low-income BT customers may also be subject to the highest departure fees, which total £194.34 if they want to cancel their service early by a year.


The adoption of a social tariff


According to Which? Research, switching to a social tariff could result in savings of up to £220.32 ($18.36) per month for the typical low-income consumer affected by the price increase.


These Universal Credit, Pension Credit, and other benefit claimants' broadband and phone packages are less expensive.


They are still provided in the same manner, just for less money. Some providers could refer to them as "basic" or "essential" broadband.


Switching to a social tariff would result in BT customers' largest yearly savings of £260.16 (or £11.68 per month). Customers of Vodafone would save the least, at £168 per year (or £14 per month).


Head of Policy and Advocacy for Which?, Rocio Concha, stated: "Telecom operators must immediately cancel the 2023 price increases for financially disadvantaged customers. Even if they choose not to sign up for a social tariff, they should proactively identify these customers and ensure they are not financially penalized."



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