More money down the line for phones and broadband as millions of customers face mid-contract price rises
- Charity Citizens Advice says industry wants to charge millions extra £2.5billion
- Nine out of ten have broadband contracts can have prices hiked at halfway point
- Average monthly bills are £33.10 for broadband customers but could rise to £60
- Meanwhile average mobile bills for consumers are £22.60 but may rise to £40
Millions of mobile and broadband customers face paying an extra £100 a year thanks to inflation-busting price rises.
Consumer charity Citizens Advice says the industry wants to charge 13 million customers an extra £2.5billion.
It found that nine out of ten broadband customers and seven out of ten mobile customers have contracts with prices that can be raised at the halfway point.
They are likely to see huge rises, potentially more than 15 per cent, from next April.
Small-print details let firms put up prices by the Retail Price Index rate of inflation in January, plus 3.9 per cent.
Recent Bank of England estimates predict this inflation figure could hit 12.6 per cent.
Average monthly bills are £22.60 for mobile and £33.10 for broadband. Citizens Advice estimates they may rise by £40 and £60 respectively.
Chief executive Dame Clare Moriarty said: ‘We want to see them cancel mid-contract price rises this year.’
Consumer charity Citizens Advice found that nine out of ten broadband customers and seven out of ten mobile customers have contracts with prices that can be raised at the halfway point
Watchdog Ofcom has also asked the companies to voluntarily cancel the inflation-plus increases but it has no legal powers to control or cap retail prices.
Spokesman Lindsey Fussell said: ‘We face a generational crisis in the budgets of homes and businesses across the country. And while telecoms bills may only represent a fraction of household energy costs, every bill matters.’
Speaking at the Connected Britain Conference in London, she added: ‘We want companies to think very carefully about what is justified during an exceptional period of hardship for many people.
‘We believe companies have a duty to their customers, to recognise and respond to a unique economic climate. We expect them to meet that responsibility.
‘They can do so within their means, and without compromising on fair returns or continued investment.’
Telecoms firms argue that the money raised through bills is needed to fund the rollout of high-speed broadband to homes and businesses.
However, the cash is also funding inflated TV deals for Premier League football and other sports.
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