Millions of customers with Three mobile contracts will be hit with price rises of 2.6% from next month.
The move affects pay monthly handset and pay monthly mobile broadband customers who are within their minimum contract term and who joined or renewed with Three after 29 May 2015.
As an example, the telecoms provider says that for customers who are paying £25, their new cost will be £25.65.
Three wouldn’t say how many customers would be hit with the price hikes, but it says the move will affect millions of people. It is contacting customers this month to inform them of the price rise.
Pay-as-you-go and SIM-only customers are unaffected, as are those who joined or renewed their handset or mobile broadband contracts on or before 29 May 2015.
Unfortunately, affected customers can’t cancel their contracts penalty-free as a result of the increase, as Three’s contract allows it to increase prices by the Retail Price Index (RPI) rate of inflation. This year it has used January 2017’s RPI rate of 2.6%, as published in February.
Under telecommunication regulator Ofcom’s rules, customers who take out or upgrade their contract on or after 23 January 2014 can cancel their contract penalty-free if a provider ups prices mid-contract – but only if they weren’t told about this possibility prior to agreeing their deal.
A spokesperson for Three says: “Each year we have the ability to increase prices in line with the RPI rate of inflation, which is published in February. This helps to cover the increased costs of delivering our service, which have also risen in line with inflation. We review this on a case-by-case basis every year.”