Vodafone price rise could push your bill 10% higher

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If you're a Vodafone customer, prepare to pay as much 10%more on your monthly bill. The new bill hikes won't affect everyone. But if you regularly use more than your monthly contract allowance, your wallet will be slapped: call costs rise from 40p a minute to 45p and texts will cost 18p, not 15p.

If you're not happy with the news, what can you do? And are there other price nasties lurking in Vodafone's news? %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%

Higher bills?

First, Vodafone says the vast majority of its contract customers without an unlimited call/text plan tend to stay within agreed bundles and won't see any difference - because it's not upping its price tariffs.

Go beyond your monthly bundle and prices climb - dramatically. For example, the cost of calling freephone' numbers rise from 14p a minute to 20.4p and the cost of sending an international text climbs to 35p from 30p. A minute's call to certain 118 numbers surge from the £2.75-£3.75 region to £5.

If you use UK data above your normal monthly allowance, 250 MB of data will cost £6.50, not £6. So some hefty price rises. uSwitch estimates that almost 25% of Brits regularly exceed their allowance - so many could be hit.

No penalty - but be quick

Anyone whose monthly bill climbs more than 10% does have the right to leave Vodafone without a penalty (check Vodafone's price changes here), but you must contact Vodafone before the price rise, on 28 June. Vodafone will take estimates from your bill based on a three-month history profile and let you know if your rises will exceed 10%.

Regulator Ofcom allows phone providers to increase the price of a contract - so long as they provide a month's notice. But their guidance also allows you to eject from a deal mid-contract if you don't want to pay the new charges.

"Although we'll be increasing the prices you pay outside your monthly allowance," says Vodafone, "we promise we won't put up the monthly charge you pay for your plan when you stay within your allowance."

Roaming charges fall

There are a few nuggets of good news: EU roaming charges are clipped; calls will cost 18.7p a minute, down from 24.5p and a text message will cost 5.8p not 8.1p. Data charges slip from 45.9p per MB to 19.8p per MB - from 1 July.

The new charges come on the back of other recent price hikes from Orange, T-Mobile and EE, much of it blamed on infrastructure costs and competition pressure, plus tighter cashflow.

Remember, if you're looking for a new contract, haggle. The mobile market is well out of its growth phase and carriers are having to work harder for your custom. What can you do for me? are six simple words that could save you money.
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