Earlier this week, we heard that Orange had informed its customers via text that it would be increasing the prices of it’s Pay Monthly tariffs in the new year. We spoke to Orange for clarification on this and we were told that while tariff prices would indeed be going up, regular rates wouldn’t. So pay-as-you-go customers will not be affected by this.
The full statement from Orange reads thus:
“Due to recent increases in inflation, we will be increasing the price of our monthly tariff plans by 4.34% from the 8th January 2012.
Call, text and data rates will not be changing, and we are confident that we continue to offer our customers great value and rewarding deals. All customers affected by the price increase will be contacted with full details.”
Undoubtedly bad news for customers who’ve just signed up for an 18 or 24 month plan. But what about the other networks?
At the start of the year, all of the networks adjusted their rates slightly, in accordance with VAT creeping up to 20 per cent. Earlier this year, T-Mobile started slashing its data rates, with the other networks (bar Three) following suit.
We got in contact with the other networks to see if there were any immediate plans to up their rates as a result of Orange’s recent decision. Here’s what they had to say.
O2 told us over the phone that there’s “no news so far on contract changes for this year,” or immediately in 2012 either.
Similarly “Three don’t have any plans right now,” to up either its regular rates or its contract prices.
Given the close ties with Orange, we reached out to T-Mobile first, who got back to us with a definitive statement:
“There are no equivalent price changes planned for T-Mobile this year, however inflation has a significant impact on the cost structure of both of our brands so we will be reviewing our price plans and can't rule out future changes.”
Back in October, Vodafone announced changes to its line rental plans, affecting customers who’d signed up from before February 2011. The price hike on average was around the 1 per cent mark, with prices being rounded up to the nearest 50p. Calls to 0800 numbers however have also been cut, until the 2nd of January.
So if you were paying £35.75 a month previously, you’ll now be paying £36 a month, if you joined up before February this year.
Vodafone told us over the phone that “as we’ve recently undertaken pricing changes” customers shouldn’t expect any drastic changes any time soon.
So in short Orange’s recent price rises don’t look to be setting an immediate trend. Its worth noting that every network in effect told us that while there are not any planned rises for the immediate future, the prospect of raises later on can’t be ruled out. Obviously given the nature of inflation, contract prices will eventually go up at some point, but that’s a given.
The networks check their prices on a regular basis and so we might see a change in rates sooner on one than we might another. We're keeping 'em peeled for any other inflation-related price increases and will of course let you know.