Feeds

T-Mobile UK punters break for freedom in inflation-busting bill row

What do you mean, the small print doesn't apply?

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

T-Mobile UK punters reckon they can avoid the mobile network's latest price rise - after the operator swelled its prices beyond inflation.

The T-Mobile contract states that its bills may increase in step with the Retail Price Index, a government-calculated rate of inflation. When this figure reached 3.3 per cent, T-Mobile and Orange - both run by mobile overlord EE - raised their prices accordingly.

But by the time letters went out informing subscribers of the change, RPI had dropped to 3.2 per cent, prompting internet clever-clogs to consider themselves released from their contractual obligations.

Those T-Mobile users are filling forums with claims that T-Mobile has breached its own agreement, arguing they should be entitled to back out of their own commitments - a move the operator absolutely rejects.

"We used the 3.3 per cent figure in anticipation of the issue of the RPI figure by the [Office for National Statistics]", T-Mobile told us. "Our terms and conditions do not permit customers to end their contract early in these circumstances."

The company's subscribers disagree, citing a purported extract from T-Mobile's own terms and conditions which supposedly allows instant termination of contracts if charges increase at a rate above RPI.

Anyone with a subsidised handset (i.e. most people) could potentially find themselves excused from having to complete the full term of their contract, as happened in 2007 when O2 stopped including non-geographic numbers in bundled call minutes.

Ofcom, the telcom regulator, is looking at the whole subject of intra-contract price changes. They are spelled out in the small print but still catch customers by surprise, so will probably disappear within the next few years.

Fixing a price for the length of a contract will make 24-month deals more risky for the operator, so probably more expensive for the customer, but reducing the length will be no bad thing - even if it slows down sales of smartphones. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
BT claims almost-gigabit connections over COPPER WIRE
Just need to bring the fibre box within 19m ...
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.