Millions of broadband and mobile customers face bill hikes of up to £100 | The Sun
MILLIONS of mobile and broadband customers could see their bills rise by over £100 next year.
More than 13million customers could face £2.5billion in price hikes in 2023.
Research conducted by Citizens Advice found that 90% of broadband customers and 70% of mobile customers could see their bills raised mid-contract.
Telecom providers often base their price rises on the value of the consumer price index of inflation and a fixed percentage figure.
And while inflation fell to 9.9% in August after reaching a 40-year high, Bank of England estimates suggest it could hit 12.6% in January 2023.
This would mean that mid-contract price rises will be considerably higher than they were last year.
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Citizens Advice is now calling on Ofcom to cancel mid-contract price rises.
Dame Clare Moriarty, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: "Every day our advisers hear from people barely making ends meet as they try to cope with inflation and soaring household bills.
"We want to see them cancel mid-contract price rises this year. Ofcom and the government should then look to protect consumers from future ones."
Data suggests that BT, EE, John Lewis, Plusnet, TalkTalk and Vodafone could raise customer broadband and mobile tariffs (if provided) by up to 16.5%.
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For example, if you had a contract with EE and were paying £45 a month before a predicted 16.5% rise, your bills could go up by £7.43 a month or £89.10 a year.
Sky and Virgin Media set their own discretionary price rises but Virgin customers saw their average bill increase by £4.70 a month this year.
For mobile contracts, data suggests that Virgin Media O2 could raise their tariff prices by 18.9%.
For example, if a customer pays £30 a month and see an 18.8% price hike, their bill will rise by £5.67 a month or £68.04 a year.
Three mobile is the only network that does not rely on inflation to set its price rises. Instead the firm caps rises by 4.5%.
Customers of CountryConnnect, G.Network, Hyperoptic, SEE Energy Services, Tesco Mobile and Sky Mobile are promised that they will not face mid-contract price rises.
How can I save money on my broadband and mobile contracts?
Switching contracts when yours is up is the single best way to save money on your telecom bills.
In the weeks before your contract is up, use comparison sites to familiarise yourself with what deals are available.
It's a known fact that new customers always get the best deals.
Sites like MoneySuperMarket and Uswitch all help you customise your search based on price, speed and provider.
This should make it easier to decide whether to renew your contract or move to another provider.
However, if you do not want to switch and are happy with the service you're getting under your current provider – haggle for a better deal.
You can still make significant savings by renewing your contract rather than rolling on to the tariff you're given after your deal.
You could save up to £210 a year on your bills by haggling alone.
If you need to speak to a company on the phone, be sure to catch them at the right time.
Make some time to negotiate with your provider in the morning.
This way, you have a better chance of being the first customer through on the phone, and the rep won't have worked tirelessly through previous calls which may have affected their stress levels.
It pays to be polite when getting through to someone on the phone, as representatives are less inclined to help rude or aggressive customers.
Knowing what other offers are on the market can help you to make a case for yourself to your provider.
If your provider won't haggle, you can always threaten to leave.
Companies don't want to lose customers and may come up with a last-minute offer to keep you.
Investigate social tariffs. These broadband packages and discounts have been created for people who are receiving certain benefits.
They're often available to those on income support, universal credit, or disability allowance.
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Around 4.2million households are eligible for these cheaper tariffs but only 55,000 are making use of them.
Prices start from £12.50 a month, so ask your provider what's on offer.
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