Mobile phone customers could see their contracts rise by up to three per cent as yearly price rises come into effect.
Customers of both O2 and Three will have been told the cost of their contracts are due to go up this spring.
Why might I see a price rise?
Many major mobile phone companies raise their contract prices midway through the contracted period in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation figure.
Others use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which is another tracker of inflation, but is often at a lower percentage than RPI.
How much more will I pay?
If you are an O2 customer, your tariff will have already risen by 2.5 per cent in April. The price rise applied to any pay-monthly tariffs taken out after 23 January 2014, regardless of the length of your contract. If you have an O2 Refresh contract, you will only see an increase on the airtime part of your bill.
Three customers will see a 2.5 per cent rise on their bills in May, with all pay-monthly tariffs taken out after 29 May 2015 affected including SIM-only plans and regardless of the length of contract.
EE customers also saw an increase of 2.7 per cent earlier this year, and Vodafone used February’s figure of 2.4 per cent on their contracts in April.
Plusnet customers saw a rise of 1.8 per cent in line with January’s CPI figure on all mobile plans upgraded on or after 29 November 2016.
BT and Sky Mobile customers are among the lucky ones in 2019 with price freezes for BT contracts and no plans for price rises for Sky Mobile contracts.
An O2 customer may, therefore end up paying 50p extra per month on top of an agreed £20 contract, while a Plusnet customer would pay 36p more per month.
Can I leave without paying a fee?
According to MoneySavingExpert, you are unlikely to be able to get out of your contract penalty free.
Mobile firms can increase prices mid-contract provided they include a warning about it in their terms and conditions.
However, if you can successfully prove you have suffered ‘material detriment’ as a result of a price increase you can escape your contract, according to rules from telecoms regulator Ofcom, but it is very difficult to show an RPI increase could cause this.
The best thing to do is to look for new deals around a month before your contract is due to end.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Sunderland Echo