Millions face 17.3% increase in broadband bills next month – how to beat April price hike
Millions of broadband and mobile customers are facing bill rises of up to 17.3 percent next month. The majority of broadband providers don’t allow customers to leave penalty-free if prices rise so many will have to pay a fee to move to a better deal.
However, an expert has spoken exclusively to Express.co.uk about the ways people may be able to avoid these price hikes.
Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at Uswitch.com explained that millions of broadband and mobile customers across the country have already started receiving letters, texts or emails from their providers confirming mid-contract price increases.
Most of the major broadband and mobile providers have these increases written into their contracts, so unfortunately, customers agreed to the rises when they signed up.
It should be noted all providers calculate increases in the same way. Generally, they will use one of two inflation rates that are published each January.
READ MORE: DWP warning: Benefit payments to change over Easter – dates to expect payment
Britons who are mid-contract are encouraged to read their terms and conditions, check if they can change providers, and if they’ll be charged an exit fee for switching – usually calculated as the monthly fee for the remaining period.
If there is a charge, people can compare this to how much extra they’ll pay with the price increases. Paying the exit fee may still be cheaper in the long term.
He stressed the importance of individuals trying to find a better deal.
Mr Doku continued: “Run a comparison online to see your alternative options. Be sure to assess your needs in regards to broadband speeds so you don’t pay for more than you need, but there are plenty of introductory perks and benefits to make switching an appealing option.
READ MORE: Energy bills – Millions ‘to pay £160 more’ a month within weeks
“These are designed to ensure everyone has access to modern-day utilities such as broadband. Major providers such as EE, Virgin and Vodafone offer connectivity from £12.00 with no set-up fees – and no mid-contract price increases.”
In January 2023, the RPI was 13.4 percent and the CPI was 10.5 percent. This means that customers are at risk of facing increases of up to 17.3 percent this April.
Mr Doku explained if someone is paying £20 a month for their mobile deal and receiving the most common increase by mobile providers of 14.4 percent – which is the CPI of 10.5 percent + 3.9 percent- they would pay an additional £2.88 per month.
This works out to an extra £34.56 per year.
He continued: “If you’re paying £50 a month for broadband, you’d be paying an extra £86.40 a year, or £7.20 per month. Our data show as many as 11 million broadband customers may be out of their initial contract period, and as such, do have options available.
“If you are out of contract, you could switch to a new deal now and avoid above-inflation price hikes this April. Some providers, including TalkTalk, Shell and Vodafone say customers signing up to new broadband packages in March can skip this year’s price rise altogether”.