Staff Reporter
November 1, 2023

Millions of broadband and mobile customers are expected to endure mid-contract price rises on their broadband and mobile contracts in April 2024 – but 85% say these are unfair, according to new research from
In April 2024, many broadband and mobile providers are expected to hit customers with a price increase in line with inflation rates that will be announced in January, plus as much as 3.9% on top – even if they are within the contract.
Almost nine in ten (87%)] consumers believe they should be allowed to leave their provider for free if they raise their prices mid-contract. While customers do have this right, this is only true if the customer isn’t made aware of potential rises at the start of their contract.
Ofcom rules allow providers to avoid this if they tell customers that annual inflation (CPI or RPI) plus a fixed percentage rise (often 3.9%) will apply – even though customers cannot reasonably predict what inflation might be in the future.
Because of this, the majority of customers won’t have the right to leave without being forced to pay exit fees.
Meanwhile,, says USwitch customers are most concerned by the lack of certainty over how much the price would increase which came ahead of not being able to leave the contract and even financial strain.[ These concerns have led to six in ten (62%) planning to leave their provider at the next available opportunity if hit by a price increase. Findings from the study also show that seven in ten (71%) would switch to a provider who didn’t have mid-contract price rises if given the choice.
Uswitch research from earlier this year found that monthly broadband bills increased on average by £18.50 and mobile phone payments by £9.50 following this year’s inflation-busting price rises in April.]
Uswitch has been campaigning for providers to end the practice of annual price hikes, and instead commit to either clear pricing from the start of a contract or allowing customers to leave penalty-free. When it comes to choosing a broadband deal, one in five (20%) say guaranteed no price rises throughout the contract[6] is now a top priority, along with reliability (57%) and overall cost (48%).] Mid-contract price rises are a dealbreaker for some – with almost eight in ten (75%)] consumers saying they would be put off from taking on a new mobile or broadband contract.
Price rises are expected to come into effect in April 2024, but mobile and broadband customers are already fearing the impact, with one in ten saying an increase of as little as £5 to their mobile or broadband bill would cause them stress.[11] Ahead of April’s price rises, next spring will also see a new broadband switching process known as One Touch Switch scheduled to come into effect on 14 March 2024 – which should make it faster and simpler for consumers to switch to a new broadband supplier.
Uswitch telecoms specialist Ernest Doku said: “We’re calling for an end to the practice of inflation-linked annual price rises in broadband and mobile contracts. With inflation still historically high, it’s never been more urgent for this industry norm to be reformed.
“The inflation-linked mechanic is especially unfair for bill payers as consumers cannot be expected to know exactly how much the rise will be. It’s time for Ofcom to intervene. “Time is running out to address 2024 price rises. The Retail Price Index (RPI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures are confirmed in January, which is when the scale of the increases will become clear – with provider notifications arriving from March “For consumers, we know even an increase of £5 can make a difference, so it’s worth looking ahead and understanding when your contract is coming to an end Even if you aren’t ready to switch quite yet, you should make sure you’re up to date on your contract terms and keep your eyes peeled for any communications around anticipated price rises at the start of next year.”
How to avoid overpaying on your mobile and broadband bills:
  • Put it in your diary: Get familiar with your contract end date so you know if you’ll be out of contract – or still mid-contract – in April next year. Those who create an account on can sign up to receive helpful reminders when their broadband and mobile phone contracts are up for renewal
  • Permission to switch: Check when you are eligible to switch and if there are any charges associated with switching so you know this information in advance. Even if there is a charge to switch, this may still offer you a saving in the long term
  • Consider providers that commit to no mid contract rises: Mobile providers such as Sky Mobile, Giffgaff, Smarty, Voxy, LycaMobile and Lebara are providers to consider who haven’t previously raised prices mid contract. Broadband providers, including alternative networks such as Community Fibre, Zen and Hyperoptic also commit to never raising prices mid contract.
  • Check if you’re eligible for social tariffs: If you’re in receipt of state benefits you may be eligible to sign up for social tariffs, 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
Tips for mobile customers:
  • Consider your mobile data usage: If you regularly have data left over at the end of the month, consider reducing the data in your plan to save money. You can check this by signing into your account by visiting your network’s website, or the customer account app on your phone
  • Text 85075: Check how much it would cost to leave your current contract by texting INFO to 85075. You will receive a text message confirming if you have to pay exit fees to leave your provider
  • Out of contract? Try SIM-only: Mobile customers who are out of contract can save up to £335 a year by moving to a SIM-only deal.



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