Three bumps up mobile broadband contract charge
You did read the small print, didn't you?
Three is pushing up the price of its broadband, applying a rather-generous inflationary rate to customers who thought they were on fixed-rate contracts.
Customers who are currently paying £15 a month for Three's broadband will be billed an extra 56 pence next month – ex VAT of course – in a rise that Three describes as "increasing ... with inflation" but actually seems rather higher than the prevailing rate.
The Office of National Statistics puts inflation at 3.2 per cent, while Three pegs it just over 3.7 per cent, but that's splitting hairs when many people thought that the agreed monthly bill would have remained the same for the duration of the contract.
All the mobile operators have the option to adjust prices, though they rarely do as it upsets customers, but when a contract lasts 24 months it's not surprising that the price can't be maintained over a couple of years.
Three told us that increasing the price is better than reducing the data allowance, and that it hasn't increased prices for a very long time, but that the terms and conditions are clear that price changes are permitted as long as decent notice is given: it's all in the small print. ®
Journalist has Missed the point
"but when a contract lasts 24 months it's not surprising that the price can't be maintained over a couple of years"
What a stupid statement. The whole point of contracts (12,18,24) is that the provider has a guaranteed income, and the user has a guaranteed service level at the agreed price. So there is every expectation that the price can be maintained over the length of the contract (hence the opt-out if the contract changes).
Funnily enough, when it came to annual salary reviews, it was announced here that the recession was still in full flow and the cost of living increase would match the inflation rate of 1%...
Prices can go up as well as down.
These sort of business antics are precisly why at the end of January, I won't be renewing my fixed term contract with my current mobile provider (t-everywhere). It doesn't seem like there are many 18month contracts left (remember when there were 12 month contracts?), and if there are, they're an expensive monthly cost (£30+) & offer either crappy phones bundled in, or offer very little discount vs a sim-free handset.
I don't need 16 gazillion free text messages or 45billion voice minutes every month, I just want a hundred texts, some minutes, and the interwebz, something which isn't catered for under the main network offerings, so I shall likely be looking at the fringe tariff offerings from the likes of tmo (30 day rolling contract) or giffgaff and saving anywhere between £10 and £15 on line rental, which I can plow back into a phone fund.
Network providers are trying to appease their revolting shareholders with increased earnings, but I think many customers are simply getting fedup with this constant wriging to shake out the last few pennies and can't see the point of upgrading to the latest iNexus when their existing phone does pretty much the same thing, only with one less bell and one less whistle.