Fixed Means Fixed Campaign progress
Four mobile companies have hiked prices on so-called ‘fixed’ phone contracts. We’re working to make sure Ofcom intervenes to stamp out these hidden price rises, as we think you should be confident that fixed really does mean fixed. In the meantime, here’s a timeline of the price rises and our campaign:
Vodafone announces price increase
23 September 2011
Vodafone announces it will be rounding up the price of its contracts to the nearest 50p, potentially affecting 3.7 million customers tied into these contracts. The price increase was implemented on 11 October 2011.
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Orange announces 4.34% price rise
28 November 2011
Orange announces a 4.34% price rise for its pay-monthly contract customers, resulting in more than £1-a-month on an average contract. Collectively customers will pay £45m extra per year. The regulator Ofcom said it would not investigate, saying it didn’t believe the price rise would have a significant impact on most customers. The rise came into effect on 8 January 2012. Almost 500 comments have been made on Which? Conversation and Tech Daily about Orange’s price rise.
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T-Mobile puts up its prices
28 March 2012
T-Mobile announces 3.7% price rise, resulting in a monthly increase of just under £1. The price rise was implemented on 9 May 2012, affecting almost two million customers. Together customers will pay £20m extra per year.
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Three Mobile increases contract prices
21 May 2012
Three Mobile announces a 3.6% price rise for existing customer’s monthly plans. Anyone who signed up to Three before 8 March 2012 would be hit by the price hike from 16 July 2012. Affects more than one million customers who will together pay £13m more per year. More than 1,000 comments have been made on Which? Conversation about Three Mobile’s price rise.
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Which? launches Fixed Means Fixed campaign
16 July 2012
We launched our Fixed Means Fixed campaign, calling for an end to price increases on 'fixed' mobile phone contracts. We estimate that with around 10.5 million adults affected by these price rises so far, consumers have already spent nearly £34.5m extra on phone contracts. Over 12 months this could cost customers up to £90m extra. We also submitted a formal complaint to Ofcom asking it to intervene and stop mobile price rises mid-contract.
Read more about: Which? launches Fixed Means Fixed campaign
Which? investigates mobile phone shops
15 August 2012
We went undercover into mobile phone shops (Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Three Mobile, O2, Phones4U and Carphone Warehouse) to see whether assistants would say the price of contracts could rise. When asked whether the contract was at a fixed price, 82% of shop assistants told us it was.
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Utility Warehouse backs Fixed Means Fixed campaign
22 September 2012
Mobile phone company Utility Warehouse becomes the first provider to publicly back our Fixed Means Fixed campaign. Utility Warehouse executive chairman, Charles Wigoder, says: ‘We have never increased prices for customers on fixed contracts and have amended our terms and conditions to clarify that this will not happen in the future.'
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Vodafone announces second price rise
28 September 2012
Almost a year after increasing its prices, Vodafone announces another price rise. This time customers who signed up before 7 September 2012 will be hit with a 2.4% price rise from 1 November 2012. It will cost the average Vodafone customer 59p per month. Affects 3.6 million customers who will together pay £26m more per year.
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Ofcom to consult on fixed price mobile contracts
18 October 2012
Ofcom, the communications regulator, announces plans to consult on how to protect consumers from surprise price hikes on fixed mobile, landline and broadband contracts. In a win for our Fixed Means Fixed campaign, Ofcom's consultation will consider whether hidden price variation terms, such as the ones we have identified in mobile phone contracts, are appropriate in fixed contracts. Ofcom plans to issue its consultation on ways to protect consumers from unexpected price rises within fixed contracts by the end of 2012.
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O2 last major mobile provider to increase prices
11 December 2012
O2 is the last of the major five mobile phone providers to announce a price increase for its pay monthly customers. Mobile line rental will go up by 3.2% from 28 February 2013, adding almost 80p to the average monthly bill. We’ve worked out that collectively O2′s five million customers will pay almost £45m more a year on the back of this increase.
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Ofcom launches consultation on price rises during fixed contracts
3 Jan 2013
In a win for our Fixed Means Fixed campaign and its supporters, Ofcom launches a consultation on how to protect consumers from unexpected price rises on fixed mobile, landline and broadband contracts. Ofcom's consultation proposes a preferred solution - to give consumers the option to exit without penalty if prices go up mid-contract. The consultation closes at 5pm on 14 March 2013.
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EE announces price rise for Orange and T-Mobile customers
1 March 2013
Citing ‘rising business costs’ EE is increasing prices by 3.3% for its Orange and T-Mobile customers, adding 79p a month to a typical fixed mobile contract. We estimate that these customers will collectively pay almost £52m extra per year due to the price rise. EE customers won’t be affected.
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