In good news for millions of mobile customers, Vodafone has announced it will follow the spirit of Ofcom’s new ‘fixed means fixed’ rules. No more mid-contract price hikes from Vodafone… ever.
Vodafone has announced a ‘fixed price contract promise’, confirming to its customers that they will not face price increases on their monthly line rental for the entirety of their contract.
Vodafone increased prices for its pay monthly customers in 2011 and again in 2012, despite customers being locked into ‘fixed’ contracts. Thanks to the 60,000 supporters of our Fixed Means Fixed campaign, Ofcom changed its guidance to encourage phone providers to keep prices fixed or else let customers exit penalty-free.
Despite this, both O2 and EE have written yearly price rises into their customers’ contracts, which we feel goes against the spirit of Ofcom’s rules.
A deal’s a deal
Vodafone joins other providers, including Three, Tesco Mobile and Utility Warehouse, in promising that fixed mobile phone contracts will stay at a fixed price. And the extra good news with Vodafone’s promise is that it will apply to all pay monthly customers, not just those signing up after 23 January 2014 when Ofcom’s rules came into effect.
Vodafone says it may still change prices outside of your bundle, such as calls to premium rate numbers.
Cindy Rose, consumer director at Vodafone, commented on the announcement:
‘We asked our customers what they thought was fair when it came to charging, and the clear majority told us that it was unacceptable to increase monthly prices during the contract term. So from now on, when you sign up with us, a deal’s a deal, and we promise the monthly price you pay will stay the same for the period of your contract term, provided you stick within your allowance.’
Come on O2 and EE
The pressure now really is on O2 and EE for being the odd ones out. After more than 5,000 customers emailed EE’s CEO Olaf Swantee about the company’s new price rise policy, we’re pleased to say that Olaf has now agreed to meet with our executive director Richard Lloyd. Richard will be telling Olaf that his customers won’t stand for these price rises – fixed should mean fixed.
We’ve also turned the screw on O2 too – we complained to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) about this advert from O2 that we think is misleading. In an ad from January 2014, O2 advertises a £14-a-month contract, despite the price only applying for one month of the two-year contract. The ASA is currently investigating the ad, and we’ll let you know as soon as we hear back.
It’s great news that Vodafone has decided to the right thing for its customers. And we hope people will now choose providers who play fair and offer fixed contracts that really are fixed.