Many mobile network providers have started introducing mid-contract price increases when you sign up. These price increases were usually reserved after the end of the contract, but now occur every year, often more than inflation.
With the recently announced increases in the retail price index (RPI) of 7.5% and the consumer price index (CPI) of 5.4%, many consumers with a phone plan will be face significant increases.
If you’ve seen your contract costs go up, it may have come as a surprise. We detail the best and worst providers for mid-contract price increases, what you can do to reduce risk, and how to get the most out of your subscription.
Discover it best and worst mobile networksor compare mobile contract and SIM only offers on which? Movable switch.
Mobile network provider inflation comparison
|RPI inflation price increases (7.5%)||RPI inflation (7.5%) plus 3.9%||Consumer price inflation (5.4%) plus 3.9%||No price increase||Rolling contract suppliers (price escalation does not apply)|
|Virgin Mobile||EE||Sky Mobile*||Smarty|
|Plusnet Mobile||Utility warehouse|
*Sky Mobile does not currently raise prices mid-term, but offers no guarantees **Three will raise prices by 4.5% each April, unrelated to inflation
Which vendors are raising prices?
Mid-contract price increases have taken various forms, with some increasing the price only in line with inflation, and others setting a fixed percentage along with inflation. This is probably due to the low inflation rates of recent years.
Last year, ID Mobile, O2 and Virgin Mobile increased their prices just because of RPI inflation. However, this year, only ID Mobile retained this increase. O2 and Virgin Mobile will now raise prices based on RPI inflation (which is 7.5% at the time of writing) plus 3.9%
Similar to last year, BT mobile, EE, Plusnet mobile and Vodafone increase their prices according to consumer price inflation plus 3.9%.
Three increases prices by a fixed rate of 4.5% each year without linking it to inflation. This might instinctively look like a more expensive option, but generally price increases for other providers will be higher, as CPI plus 3.9% will likely be more than just a 4.5% increase. For example, the CPI is currently at 5.4%, so the price of BT, EE, Plusnet and Vodafone will increase by 9.3%.
Which suppliers are not raising prices?
Tesco Mobile and Sky Mobile are not currently raising mid-term prices for their mobile contract customers. However, Sky Mobile does not guarantee that your price will remain the same, stating that prices may increase during your subscription. Tesco Mobile guarantees that your price will not change mid-contract as part of its ‘price promise’, whereby it freezes your price until the end of your contract.
How to Beat the Price Rise
If you’ve recently signed a contract, there’s not much you can do without paying expensive termination fees.
If you are at the end of the contract or approaching the end of your contract, your options open up. Rolling contract offers, which allow you to leave with just 30 days notice, are the best way to give you the flexibility to counter price increases and ensure you can upgrade to a monthly plan that meets your needs. needs if your situation changes.
Cheap Sim-only providers, such as Giffgaff, Smarty, Utility warehouse and Lebaraoffer one-month contracts and do not increase prices every year – and our survey of best and worst mobile phone providers has shown that they can often outperform their biggest rivals.
Even the majority of those who raise prices every year offer month-long deals, although sometimes they can be more expensive.
Do you like good deals? We round the best mobile phone deals and Sim only every month to highlight some of the best discounts.
Beat Inflation with Sims-Only One-Month Deals
In the table below, we’ve rounded up some of the best Sims-only one-month deals that can help you beat the price hikes. All of these offers come with unlimited minutes and SMS.
With text to change, switching mobile networks is very easy, but many choose to stick with their current provider who may not be giving you the best deal.
Read our in-depth guide to how to change mobile operatorwhich offers advice whether you are under contract or not, and how to ensure you get a good signal with a new provider.