Millions of Vodafone, BT and EE customers will see their mobile phone bills rise in April as inflation soars.
Families are already set for huge price rises from fuel and energy costs as the price cap is set to increase from next month.
Providers base their prices on the UK’s inflation rate which is going up - and so are bills.
Here’s everything you need to know about the mobile phone bill hike and who is affected.
What customers are affected?
If you’re a Vodafone, BT or EE customer, your bill will go up in April.
Vodafone is increasing prices based on February’s Retail Prices Index (RPI) figure published by the Office for National Statistics.
The price increase will take effect from 1 April 2022.
The following customers will see prices rise by 8.2% from 1 April:
- Customers with mobile, tablet or smart watch contracts who signed up before 9 December 2020
- Customers with home broadband contracts who signed up before 2 February 2021
This means if you signed up for a £58 per month iPhone 11 Pro Max contract you will be paying around £4.75 more a month - £57 more a year.
Those who have mobile, tablet and smart watch contracts who signed up after 8 December 2020 will see their bills rise by a different rate.
They will see price hikes based on December’s Consumer Price Index rate - which was 5.4% - with another 3.9% added on top.
Based on the same contract above, that means you will be paying £5.39 extra a month and this is £64.68 over the year.
However, Vodafone has joined Good Things Foundation’s National Databank to provide free data for community groups and the people they support, pledging 24 million gigabytes of data - enough to connect 200,000 people for six months.
This is part of their aim to connect one million people by the end of 2022 and tackle digital exclusion.
O2 bill payers can expect a hike of 11.7% from 1 April 2022.
BT bases its annual price increase on the rate of inflation for January - plus an extra 3.9%.
The Consumer Price Index for January hit 5.4%.
This means that with the added 3.9% you will be paying 9.3% more for your bills.
However, those on BT’s Home Essentials, Basic and Phone Saver packages won’t see an increase to prices because these tariffs are for customers who claim certain benefits such as Universal Credit.
BT said the average price increase will be £3.50 a month - £42 a year.
EE customers will see bills rise by 9.3% from April too.
The broadband provider also bases its annual price increase on the Consumer Price Index for January, plus an extra 3.9%.
It will be increasing its prices by as much as £73.68 a year for someone on a monthly contract on an iPhone 13 with 128GB of storage and unlimited data, The Sun found.
How do I save money on my mobile phone bills?
Speak to your provider as you may be able to negotiate a cheaper deal.
You could consider switching to a cheaper company but make sure to check your contract first.
BT and Vodafone have both confirmed that customers are unable to finish their contract early just because of the upcoming price rise - because the annual hike of CPI plus 3.9% was included when customers signed their agreement.
Additional charges could be issued if you cancel before your agreed contract is due to end.
Comparison websites such as Compare The Market and Moneysupermarket can help you to find cheap deals if you do decide to switch providers.
Families on benefits such as Universal Credit are often able to get cheaper broadband packages.
Special discounted rates are provided by several companies for customers who are on Universal Credit or other benefits.
For example, BT offers a basic £15 a month phone and broadband package for households that claim certain benefits and this deal isn’t affected by this year’s price increases.
Virgin Media also has a cheaper deal for people on Universal Credit.
The £15 a month Virgin Essentials offer is available to existing customers and it could be a good option if you are already signed up and are looking to reduce your costs.
There is also an O2 Virgin Media scheme, called the National Databank, to help struggling customers get free mobile data.
The scheme provides community groups across the country with data vouchers or SIM cards to hand out to those in need.