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The price hike could mean broadband bills increasing by around £55 a year, an industry expert has warned. Those on an iPhone monthly pay tariff may see their bill go up by around £86 a year.
Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at Uswitch.com, warned consumers need to “be prepared” for a double-digit hike in April.
He explained: “Providers often link their annual price rises to inflation, measured by either the consumer price index (CPI) or the retail price index (RPI).
“Both of these are around the highest they’ve been for 40 years, with the latest CPI at 10.7 percent and RPI at 14 percent.
“Although inflation may have fallen by the spring, most providers use figures from December and January to gauge how much their price increases will be.
“Some companies also add a small percentage of three to four percent on top of the CPI or RPI rates, meaning consumers could be looking at increases of up to 18 percent.
“Ofcom rules allow providers to do this, as long as it is mentioned when you sign up, so there isn’t much consumers can do to avoid these mid-contract rises if they are currently on a fixed-term deal.”
Fortunately, there are ways consumers can mitigate the coming price hike. Mr Doku urged people to shop around for the best deal.
He said: “One way that you can reduce your costs is by evaluating your current service and see if you’re making the most of your broadband and mobile deal.
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“You may find that you are paying for more mobile data than you actually use, or paying for broadband speeds that you don’t necessarily need.
“Also, more than nine million broadband customers and eight million mobile customers are thought to be out of contract.
“If you’re out of contract on your broadband or mobile deals, the easiest way to minimise how much your bills go up is to switch to a new deal. In fact, you could save £321 by moving to SIM-only and keeping your existing handset, or £162 by switching your broadband.”
If a person on a fixed deal is struggling with their bills, Mr Doku urged them to speak to their provider to explain their situation.
He said: “While suppliers are under no obligation to move you to a cheaper deal, it is in their best interest for you to keep up with payments, so they may be able to reduce the broadband speeds being offered or your mobile data bundle.”
Other tips from Uswitch.com to reduce mobile costs include going for a refurbished model with a SIM Only deal, when upgrading a mobile handset.
The consumer site also encouraged people to think about how much data they really need, when choosing a deal.
People may want to check if their reliance on Wi-Fi or mobile data has changed recently, to find out what their data needs are before purchasing a deal.
Those who are not watching their streaming platform regularly may want to consider cancelling their subscriptions, as they can easily sign up for it again in future if they change their mind.
People who receive benefits such as Universal Credit can get discounted bills through “social tariffs”, which are available from several broadband providers.
Research from consumer group Which? found that moving to a social tariff could save the average eligible consumer £250 a year.
A person on a social tariff could get huge savings on their monthly broadband bill and could get it reduced to just £15 a month.
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