Friday 1 March 2013

Orange and T-Mobile customers brace yourselves: Price hike number two on the way!

    Orange and T-Mobile's parent company, EE, has today announced that they have decided to enact a clause in consumers contracts to increase the price of their contracts in line with the increase measure on the Retail Price Index.

   EE argued that:
"Due to inflation, which directly impacts the costs of running our business, we've had to re-evaluate our prices and introduce an increase from 9 May 2013...We've used the Retail Price Index (RPI) which is currently at 3.3%. This is a measure of the increase in prices for consumers and businesses on average across the country over the last 12 months."
   According to EE this should result in a typical price increase of 75p per month per customer, a figure disputed by consumer research site 'Which?' who estimate that it will be around 79p. Assuming that the rise is actually 79p per customer these price increases will see EE rake in anything up to £52 million on top of their current earnings!

   We know this won't go down well with consumers and it certainly didn't go down well here at TTF! Indeed, 'Which?'s executive director, Richard Lloyd, described the situation as 'outrageous that customers [are forced] to collectively pay almost £52 million more per year for a mobile phone contract they thought was fixed,' and that's a viewpoint many people will agree with.

   The changes won't be enacted for a little while yet though, EE is obliged to contact all customers who will be affects by post 30 days before any changes happen. This means that price increases won't impact you until April 10th if you're on Orange or May 9th if you're with T-Mobile.

   In some cases there will be customers who are immune to the price hike, for example you are immune if your contract was taken out with Orange between the 2nd December 2012 and the 8th April 2013, but you will have a 6 month 'freeze' after which your price will go up 3.3% too. To quote T-Mobile's website directly:
"Why are some customers affected and not others?The majority of our customers are affected by this change. However, if you recently joined or upgraded with T-Mobile the increase will be delayed until November 2013.
What if I have recently upgraded on a new pay monthly tariff like The Full Monty?If you have joined or upgraded since 2nd December 2012 on one of our consumer plans the change will be delayed for 6 months. This means you'll see a credit on your bill for 6 months, starting from your bill on or after 09 May.
If you renewed on or after 22nd January 2013 onto one of our new Pay Monthly 24 month plans or the latest Full Monty plans, you will not be affected by the price change.

   There doesn't seem to be too much rhyme or reason for changes to SIM only or business consumers, but all SIM only deals will face the increases immediately. The 'majority' of T-Mobile business customers will face the rise, whereas 'business customers on Orange are not affected'.

   As a way of helping customers Orange and T-Mobile users will be able to sign up to this new 'Fix Your Monthly Plan' option. Ironically this will cost you anywhere from 50p to £2 per month depending on the price of your plan. If your plan is £14.99 or less, "the extra cost to fix your plan is 50p. For plans £15.00-£24.99 it costs £1.00; plans £25-£34.99 it costs £1.50; for plans of £35 or more it's £2.00."

   Naturally there is no way to terminate contracts early with this sort of increase so we'll have to stick it out. For further details and justifications check out or, they're more or less the same save for network specific differences and you can check the new price of your bill on those pages too!
Via Which?, Guardian and Coolsmartphone.


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