Three Mobile hikes prices for existing customers
And there's nothing customers can do to avoid being affected.
The riseThe increase will put 90p on the cost of a £25 package and 72p on a £20 monthly broadband deal. Customers who are affected by the change will receive a text telling them exactly how it will affect them.
The bugbear is that Three Mobile has written into its terms and conditions that it is allowed to increase prices like this. It means that anyone who is tied into a contract for some months to come (which is the vast majority of contract users) will just have to take the price rise on the chin.
The marketThis is just one of a slew of price rises. It comes on the back of a rise of 4% from Orange in December and 3.7% from T-Mobile in March. The networks themselves say it is simply reflecting the increased cost of providing the service, and that terms and conditions are written so that when inflation rises as fast as it has in recent months, it can raise the cost of the phone contract accordingly.
Of course, this rings hollow when the Bank of England has announced that inflation is coming under better control and is now running at its lowest level in three years. However, it in part reflects the pressure telecoms companies are coming under. Deutsche Telekom, for example, the parent company of T-Mobile, is under pressure to sell the UK arm of the business as performance is not as good as it hoped, and the parent company needs to do something drastic after issuing a profits warning.
Sadly, therefore, this appears to be a sign of the times, and there is no guarantee that the increasing tariffs we have seen so far in the market are the last of the unwelcome changes.