Uswitch: Four in five Brits say mid-contract broadband and mobile bill rises ‘unfair’ as Three brings in inflation-linked hikes of up to 14%

Four in five consumers say the average mobile and broadband contract is unfairly priced, as 25 million mobile users and 10 million households face hikes in broadband deals next spring, according to new research from, a comparison and switching service.

The majority of mobile and broadband providers increase their annual price in line with growth rates, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or Retail Price Index (RPI), with some adding an additional price of 3-4% above. With inflation rising to the highest level in decades, the rate of about 14% at the end of March, could be beaten.

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Three, the UK’s fourth-largest mobile network, is the latest to introduce an inflation-linked mid-rise contract.[5]. The provider will now give an annual increase based on the December CPI rate plus 3.9% – the same as EE and Vodafone – to all new and upgrading customers from 1 November 2022. This is a sharp rise from the 4.5% fixed rate they applied. spring For those affected, it will start from April 2023, meaning that it will almost certainly face double-digit percentage growth.

With more than a quarter (27%) of consumers saying an increase of £5 a month or mobile bills is causing them stress;[6] Two-fifths (41%) think that the average contract price will stop rising[9].

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While many mobile and broadband providers are expected to face the press when it rises next year, it is the households supplied by the company plusnet rather than broadband who were most negatively viewed.

Nine out of ten (89%) Plusnett customers surveyed, many of whom received a 9.3% rise earlier this year, viewed such charges as either “not very fair” or “completely unfair”.[10]. The provider surveyed the highest proportion of broadband customers talking against tariffs.

In contrast, research shows that 80% of Brits want providers to offer a fixed price that works for their broadband and mobile, with no built-in middle-of-the-road contract.[2].

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Not all companies see price increases in the medium term. Sky has frozen its prices for signing up new broadband customers, while full fiber provider Hyperoptic never pushes a mid-contract bill. Their status can gain more subscribers, as a quarter of customers (25%) say they will withdraw from a contract with the next broadband provider, which does not apply annual price hikes.[8].

Table: That broadband providers focus on medium contract increases

provider Increase?
BT CPI + 3.9%
Community Fiber Can (optional)
CPI + up to a maximum of 2.9%
EE CPI + 3.9%
John Lewis Broadband No
Hyperoptic No
now There is no price to be put on it “There are different services and prices and our services may change.” [1]
Plusnet CPI + 3.9%
Crust Energy Broadband CPI + 3%
Sky Broadband There is no price to be put on it “There are different services and prices and our services may change.” [2]
talk talk CPI + 3.7%
Virgin Media No
Vodafone CPI + 3.9%

Source: Correct as of November 4, 2022


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