Bill charges to be made from March 1, following Ofcom’s ruling that anyone entering into a new contract from January 23 can leave provider mid-contract if bills are increased
O2 is increasing contract prices for its existing customers by 2.7 per cent, avoiding an Ofcom ruling made last week for new customers to be able to leave their provider mid-contract if prices rise.
The mobile operator said its ruling, which is in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI) from this month, takes effect from a consumer’s March bill date and applies to customers on O2 prior to January 23.
O2 said this is in line with current terms and conditions where it states that prices may increase or decrease from time to time and that it won’t put the monthly subscription up more than once in any 12 months.
O2 last made changes to tariffs mid-contract last February, when it increased prices by 3.2 per cent in line with RPI.
New and upgrading customers from the above date are subject to the new Ofcom guidance, which state that monthly subscription charges will be subject to an increase during March and from 2015, and each year thereafter, during April, they will be subject to further increases or decreases by the RPI rate.
O2 added provided price terms are sufficiently transparent, then the application of an RPI change on an annual basis does not give customers the right to terminate their contract.
The operator is also increasing the prices of calls and text messages that are made once a customer has exceeded their inclusive allowance. Voice calls will increase from 35p a minute to 40p a minute, texts from 12p to 15p and MMS from 35p to 40p. A one minute minimum charge now also applies to calls made outside of the inclusive bundle.
An O2 spokesperson said: “Price increases are never welcome but inflation has an impact on our costs. For most of our customers it will mean an additional charge of less than 60 pence on their monthly subscription.”
It comes hours after Ofcom ruled that customers can now leave their telephone or internet provider mid-contract if bills are increased. In contrast, the ruling only applies to new contracts entered into after January 23, as well as to small businesses of up to 10 employees.
Providers must now give 30 days notice that they are increasing prices, with customers able to cancel contracts during the agreed period without incurring a penalty.