/ Technology

EE announces 3.3% price rise – everything you never wanted

EE logo

EE, ‘the new network for your digital life’, has announced a price rise for Orange and T-Mobile customers locked into fixed monthly plans. It might be a new network, but it’s the same old story.

Citing ‘rising business costs’ EE is increasing prices by 3.3% for its Orange and T-Mobile customers. We estimate this will add 79p a month to a typical fixed mobile contract, meaning customers will collectively pay almost £52m extra per year due to the price rise. Interestingly, EE customers won’t be affected.

The timing is somewhat apt, considering we were last night on Britain’s Secret Shoppers talking about price rises on fixed contracts from Vodafone, O2, Three Mobile, Orange and T-Mobile.

EE’s price rise for Orange and T-Mobile customers

And the wait for the latest price rise is almost over – Orange customers will be hit on 10 April and T-Mobile customers will be affected from 9 May. Both Orange and T-Mobile customers on fixed contracts were hit by similar price increases last year. This is because there’s a term hidden away in their contracts that allow for price rises every 12 months as long as the increase is below the current RPI rate of inflation.

Not all Orange and T-Mobile customers will be affected. At least, not straight away. There’s a six month price freeze for certain Orange and T-Mobile customers.

EE will be contacting affected customers by letter from today, giving them the required 30 days notice of the changes. EE will also be amending its marketing materials to reflect the possibility of price rises, although that’s not much help for existing customers.

Paying extra to fix your monthly plan

So, what can you do about it? As with all other price rises from the major mobile providers, you won’t be able to cancel without paying a hefty penalty, usually the remaining monthly payments on your contract.

For customers who want to avoid the price rise, from 10 April EE will be offering customers a new bolt on called ‘Fix Your Monthly Plan’.

The Fix Your Monthly Plan bolt on (‘the first of its kind in the industry’) will cost between 50p and £2 per month depending on your current line rental. I’d imagine you’ll agree that forcing customers to pay extra to enjoy a fixed price contract when they thought it was fixed in the first place, is outrageous.

And it all sounds incredibly complex. So complicated that EE will have a calculator on its website for customers to work out how much extra they’ll have to pay. All in all, this latest price rise is just further evidence that Ofcom has to step in and change the rules.

Fixed should mean fixed and if it doesn’t, you should be able to leave your contract without penalty. Full stop.

[UPDATE 7 March 2013] – There’s just one week to go before Ofcom closes its consultation into price rises during fixed contracts. Have your say by voting in our poll and watch our new Fixed Means Fixed video:

Comments
Guest
Fishy says:
11 March 2013

I have just spent a week in Dorset, and most of the time had no signal what so ever, any chance of a refund EE?
No I doubt it, this greedy self opinionated company just gets worse, and what a cheek to rename yourself “Everything Everywhere” the coverage is worse than ever, more like Nothing Nowhere”!

Guest
Mostafa says:
3 May 2013

I have been saying nothing nowhere since i heard of them I knew it was going to be a joke letting one company own two networks,
Orange has always been a fantastic network but since they joined force with the shi##%st network in the uk they have gone downhill

Guest

These companies are taking the wee wee. I say vote with your feet and go to another provider, and if your company uses EE, then encourage them to leave! they don’t like loosing big Company accounts.

Guest
Ian says:
11 March 2013

This price increase comes after a long period of frustration with the Orange account management software. I brought my mobile number from another provider ok but orange were completely unable to recognise my number on the ‘Your Orange’ app or web site. It took 6 months to get it fixed! Now this bunch of technology amateurs have the gall to put their prices up.

When my 24 month agreement is up, I’m off.

Guest

I’m confused. Which? launched the Fixed Means Fixed campaign, encouraging us to oppose price rises during the period of a contract, and this achieved a lot of support.

The goal posts seem to have moved now that Which? has published its video asking for support for customers to be allowed to leave their contract without penalty if they are faced with a price rise. This may be the best of the options that Ofcom is currently suggesting, but I think we should carry on fighting for Fixed Means Fixed.

The contracts we are discussing usually provide a ‘free’ phone. What would happen to that phone if it became possible to leave without penalty if there was a price rise?

Please can we go back to Fixed Means Fixed – an excellent simple campaign?

Guest

Hi Wavechange, thanks for the comment.

We’re still very much on the same course – we think fixed should mean fixed. We still think that the price and all other features of a contract (minutes, data etc) should stay fixed from the day it’s agreed until the end of that agreement. If providers don’t want to keep their end of the bargain and prices do change they have basically broken the contract – this means you should be able to legally leave without having to pay an exit penalty. If this is enforced it’s also likely that providers won’t put their prices up as the risk of losing customers will be too large.

Guest

Thanks Patrick. Unless we win the argument, other (non-phone) service providers could introduce clauses that allow them to apply similar price rises during contracts.

Guest
Charles says:
11 March 2013

Who says Dick Turpin is dead. He’s alive and kicking with the stealth increases to bills (on a fixed contract) for Mobile phones.