Vodafone customers to face an even bigger hike of bills next year, bosses warn | The Sun

Vodafone customers to face an even bigger hike of bills next year, bosses warn | The Sun

BOSSES at Vodafone have warned that customers face an even bigger hike of their phone bills next year, heaping further pressure during the cost of living crisis.

The blow comes after Britain’s biggest telecom groups – Vodafone, EE, O2, BT, TalkTalk and Plusnet – have already raised prices this year.

At Vodafone customer contract prices have increased by 9% which Nick Read, chief executive, said was equivalent to “between £1 and £2 extra” a month for users.

Most telecom companies use the consumer price index (CPI) rate of inflation and Vodafone added a set 3.8% increase on top to decide the level of  this year’s annual price increase. 

In January CPI was at 5.1% , which determined Vodafone’s 9% increase.

But since then, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused inflation to spike to 9.4%, according to last month’s official figures. 

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This means that Vodafone customers could face up to 13.2% increase in their phone bills if inflation stays at the same level, or worse if it continues to rise as economists expect. 

Vodafone said that it had excluded customers it deemed as “financially vulnerable” from the price increases, and highlighted that it had recently introduced a £10-a-month Voxi tariff for people on universal credit or jobseekers allowance to have unlimited 5G data, calls and texts.

Read defended the price rises as essential for Vodafone to continue to invest in improving its mobile networks and said that it did not get a return on its cost of capital in the UK. 

Vodafone said that its own energy bills would be £100 million higher than expected this year – jumping to a total £300 million cost – due to soaring gas prices since the start of the war in Ukraine.

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It comes as Vodafone reported a 6.57% increase in UK service revenue during its first quarter although a spokesman said that the price increases only accounted for half of the additional sales.

The telecom highlighted that the mobile operator had attracted half a million new customers since last year. Total group service revenue, which includes its international business, grew by 2.5%.

Boss Nick Read said he believed  the numbers of players in the UK telecoms space would shrink because it was such a competitive market and required a lot of investment.

His comments follow recent speculation that Virgin Media O2 could buy Talk Talk and that Vodafone and Three had considered a merger of their UK divisions.

How can I save money on my bills?

If you're concerned about your phone bill then first thing you should do is speak to your provider.

You may be able to find a cheaper deal and move to a different if you're not currently using all your minutes and data.

Track exactly how much data and minutes you're using each month to ensure you're not paying for a pricey phone bill you don't need.

If your current provider can't get a good deal then it's worth considering moving to another.

However, be aware of exit charges, if you're still in contract then you may need to pay a fee in order to leave which could erase any savings on a cheaper tariff.

Mobile customers have already faced price increases this year if they use their phone abroad.

Vodafone, BT and EE have already increased their prices earlier this year.

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Vodafone, however, does give their Voxi customers a bill discount if they're struggling during the cost of living crisis.

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