Q: Will EE’s new fixed-price tariff cancel out mobile contract price rises?

 A: Last week, EE, who own Orange and T-Mobile, announced that customers with contracts from these two mobile providers will be faced with inflationary rises in their bills of 3.3 per cent from April. This will add an extra 70p per month to the average bill.

EE are not the first mobile provider to raise prices mid-contract – both O2 and Virgin did the same last year.

The regulator, Ofcom, is currently looking into mid-contract price rises by telecoms companies, but until a ruling can be made, customers will be subjected to price rises before they are able to transfer out of their contract.

Supposedly in an effort to prevent further mobile price rises for customers, EE have revealed a new tariff that all customers (even those mid-contract) can transfer to.

This 12-month Fix Your Monthly Plan tariff, which it says is the first of its kind for the telecoms industry, will charge one fixed-rate monthly fee for 12 months, so customers will be immune from any further price hikes in the next year.

But the big question is, will this see-off the price increases, or would you be better off sticking with your current contract despite the bill increase? And the answer is probably better to stick. If you currently pay £15 or over a month, this fixed price contract could increase your bill by up to £2 a month.

It’s hoped that by this June, Ofcom will rule it is no longer legal to increase prices for mobile customers mid contract, so it’s probably cheaper just to put up with the price rise and don’t switch tariffs just yet.

Andrea Ventress, money expert

 

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