Three, O2, EE and BT Mobile pay-monthly customers will see their bills rise by up to 2.7% over the next few months.
Every year, mobile providers increase the cost of pay-monthly plans, bringing them in line with inflation.
Below, we’ve outlined the price hikes announced so far this year:
|Provider||Price rise||Pay-monthly contracts affected||When the price rise starts||Price rise for £30 monthly plan|
|O2||2.7%||Any taken out since 23 Jan 2014||April 2020||81p per month|
|Three||2.7%||Any taken out since 29 May 2015||May 2020||81p per month|
|BT Mobile||1.3%||Any taken out from 11 January 2019 to 16 January 2020||March 2020||39p per month|
|EE||2.2%||All pay-monthly contracts||March 2020||66p per month|
If you’re currently mid-contract, you won’t be able to switch without paying a penalty.
Rules set by the regulator Ofcom mean that customers can leave mobile, landline or broadband contracts penalty-free if a provider ups prices mid-contract by more than than the RPI rate.
If the price rise exceeds the RPI – currently at 2.7% – you can cancel your contract and switch to any other provider, as long as you do so within 30 days of receiving your price-hike letter.
But if you’re at the end of your contract, now’s the time to haggle for a better deal or to switch suppliers.
How to get a better mobile deal
If your contract has ended, it’s likely that you’re paying too much for your monthly mobile phone bill.
Whether you’re looking for a Sim-only deal or an upgraded model, it’s well worth haggling with your provider to see whether you can save any extra cash.
Haggling might sound unnerving, but it doesn’t have to be. Providers expect customers to negotiate, and the process should be straightforward.
To avoid paying more than you have to, follow our tips on how to haggle or switch your way to a better deal.
1. Check your minutes, texts and data
Regularly go over your data allowance? And more likely to call than text?
Make sure you double check your previous bills to see how many calls and texts you use each month, and how much data you need.
This will help you decide what kind of deal you’re looking for, so you can start to compare prices.
2. Shop around for deals
Shopping around is key to negotiating.
Before calling your network, you’ll want to look at what competitors are offering and take note of any deals that catch your eye.
Remember, now that you’ve paid off your handset, you can move to a Sim-only deal which is considerably cheaper.
Or if you want to upgrade to a new phone, you can compare prices for the handset you’re after.
3. Call your provider
Don’t be afraid to push for a better deal when you call your current provider.
If you’re unsure what to say, you can use our tried-and-tested script:
- ‘I’m not sure I’m getting the best deal on my mobile and I’m thinking of cancelling.’
At this point, you should wait to see what its offer is (you might be put through to a specialist cancellation team).
Next, you should mention any deals that you’ve come across:
- ‘I think I’m paying too much. My friend has a much better deal with a better phone and more data/minutes – so I think I’m missing out.’
Wait to see what the counter-offer is, and don’t be afraid to push a little harder for a better deal:
- ‘Is that the best you can give me? I was hoping for a bigger saving/more minutes/more texts/more data than that.’
If you’re offered another deal, make sure to check whether it’s for a period of 12 or 18 months.
Providers will often give you a reduced price if you sign up with them for a longer period, but it’s always better to stick with a rolling monthly contract if possible.
If you’re happy with the deal, you can sign up on the spot, or ask to think about it and call back.
4. Make the switch
Not happy with the deal you’ve been offered? The good news is that switching to a different provider is easy.
You’ll need to ring your current network and tell it that you want to switch. You will be put through to the cancellations team (who might attempt to lure you back with one last deal).
If you still decide to switch, you can request a PAC (porting authorisation code) from your current provider, which you’ll then pass on to your new network.
You can do this either by calling or by using ‘text to switch’.
Once you give your new provider the PAC, your switch should have happened within one working day.
New Ofcom rules mean that you will now receive a standalone notification between 10 and 40 days before the end of your broadband, pay TV or mobile phone service contract.
This will give you an important reminder to switch or haggle to save money.
If you’re already out of contract, your provider must send you a notification and keep doing so each year. The notifications can be sent by text, email or letter.