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Mobile mid-contract price hikes in April 2024: What you need to know

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Wondering whether your phone bill will go up this year? We go through this year’s mid-contract price rises, which networks are increasing prices, and what you can do if you’re tied to a contract.

Why are mobile phone contract prices going up?

UK mobile networks usually increase their prices according to the Retail Prices Index (RPI) or Consumer Price Index (CPI) every year, plus 3.9%, to offset the rate of inflation and rising business costs.

Even if you’ve signed up to a mobile phone contract with a fixed monthly direct debit payment, it’s common to face a mid-contract price hike. This is usually between 3% to 4% – resulting in price rises of around 7% to 8% once the extra 3.9% has been added.

Last year saw inflation spiral to its highest point in forty years, with customers facing up to 18% added to their phone bills in 2023. This year’s increase is lower than last year’s, with most mobile networks raising their prices by 7.9%.

Broadband providers are also doing the same – read our page on broadband price rises for more.

How much will mobile phone mid-contract bills go up?

Whether your mobile phone bill will go up, and by how much, depends on the network you’re with.

It’s also worth noting that these rises might not necessarily apply to you. Some networks are only introducing price hikes on SIM-only plans, while others will only increase the price of its phone contracts. So, it’s best to check with your network to see if you’re affected.

We go through what to expect from each network below:

EE

7.9% price rise (CPI + 3.9%) on 31 March 2024

O2

8.8% price rise (RPI + 3.9%) on 1 April 2024

Vodafone

7.9% price rise (CPI + 3.9%) if your plan started from 9 December 2020, taking effect on 1 April 2024

Three

  • 7.9% price rise (CPI + 3.9%) for customers who joined on or after 1 Nov 2022
  • 4.5% price rise for customers who joined on or between 29 Oct 2020 and 31 Oct 2022
  • 7.9% price rise (CPI + 3.9%) for customers who joined before 29 Oct 2020

Price rises to take effect on 1 April 2024.

Asda Mobile

No price hike announced.

giffgaff

No price hike announced.

iD Mobile

  • 7.9% price rise (CPI + 3.9%) on phone contracts
  • No price rises on SIM-only contracts

Price rises to take effect on 1 April 2024.

Lebara

No price hike announced.

Lyca Mobile

No price hike announced.

SMARTY

No price hike announced.

Sky Mobile

3% if you’re out of contract, taking effect on 14 February 2024

No price hike if you’re in contract

Talkmobile

No price hike announced.

Tesco Mobile

No price hike announced.

VOXI

No price hike announced.

When do the price hikes kick in?

Both broadband and mobile companies typically make their price hikes effective around March or April.

Networks are obligated to give customers at least 30 days’ notice of any price increases. So they’ll usually announce price rises in January or February.

What can I do if I face a price hike?

Most networks are legally allowed to increase prices mid-contract, as long as it's in line with inflation rates. This is set out in your contract terms when you sign up.

So, even though you’ve agreed to pay a monthly amount until your contract is up, you’ll also have agreed to pay any mid-contract price hikes.

As a result, you usually can’t cancel your contract early without paying an exit fee – even if you’re facing an unexpectedly high bill.

Ofcom rules state that customers can only leave mobile contracts early, penalty-free, if the price hike is of “material detriment” – so, if it’s much greater than the inflation rate. However, if inflation is particularly high one year, it can be tricky to prove that you’re being ripped off.

Still, there are some things you might be able to do, depending on your situation.

Mobile networks may agree to get rid of early exit fees for customers moving to a cheaper tariff with them. If you’re still tied to a contract, you might be able to move to a cheaper deal with your current network.

If your contract is finished, you’re free to compare mobile tariffs and shop around for a more affordable deal. Read our guide to switching mobile networks for more information.

If you’re on a monthly SIM-only deal – something that’s common among budget networks – it’s easy to switch to a cheaper deal once the month is up. You can compare cheap SIM deals with MoneySuperMarket.

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