EE to raise prices in May

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EE will increase the price of monthly mobile phone plan charges by 2.7% in May, but not everyone will be hit.

EE has announced that it will be raising prices by 2.7% from 28th May.

EE defended the move, saying it was in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI, a measure of inflation) figure for March. However, this change will not affect prices for customers who joined after 23rd January.

Why prices are rising

EE released the following statement to explain its decision: "We know price rises are never great news, but we work hard to keep costs down while offering our customers great value on the UK's biggest and fastest network. As a result of rising business costs, we are increasing the price of EE,
Orange and T-Mobile monthly plans."

Why doesn't the price rise affect everybody?

Customers who joined or upgraded after the 23rd January have a different set of terms and conditions in their contracts.

Their terms and conditions changed after Ofcom declared that customers should be allowed to leave fixed-term contracts without penalty if the provider increases the monthly rate halfway through the contract. The guidance states that "Ofcom is likely to regard any increase to the recurring monthly subscription charge in a fixed-term contract as 'materially detrimental' to consumers," which would allow customers to leave their contracts without incurring a fee.

So if the provider has not warned you about a price rise on a contract bought after 23rd January 2014, you can leave for free. This doesn't just apply to mobile phones, but to landline and broadband contracts too.

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Can I avoid the hike by leaving?

It's possible to leave a contract before it ends under the old terms and conditions, but you will be expected to pay an early termination fee. The exact size of that fee will vary, depending on your tariff and the length of contract remaining.

You could possibly argue that the price increase constitutes 'material detriment' under Ofcom's General Conditions, and get out without paying, but there's no guarantee that will work.

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