In January last year Three were quick to jump on EE mid-contract price hikes that had just happened. We covered the news following the EE fall-out and Ofcom decided to put in new rules to stop it reoccurring. Three were quick to congratulate and stated that…
No nasty Pay Monthly price hikes.
As some of you may have heard, Ofcom announced new guidance on mid-contract price rises. We’ve noticed quite a lot of chatter about this in social media so we wanted to update our customers on what this means for them as well as to congratulate Ofcom on a decision which we feel is in the consumers’ best interests.
All good, and it’s what customers want to hear. Indeed, just to cement their commitment they emailed us too…
Your fixed monthly recurring fee from Three will not go up in the minimum term of your contract. We support Ofcom’s approach to fixing the price for pay monthly contracts for their duration. We think it’s only fair that customers should have clarity around costs when they sign up to a contract
Fast-forward to today and things have changed somewhat. You see, the Ofcom rules (as per usual) weren’t quite as strict as they could have been, and there’s an allowance for a mid-contract increase in line with Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation. This is only allowed if it’s mentioned on the terms and conditions. Three didn’t have this clause in their terms, and that was kinda good (and expected) because of their commitment to keeping prices static throughout the length of your contract.
However, those terms and conditions have now changed, and Three are free to increase the price of your plan mid-contract. It marks a massive U-turn for the network, but at the same time uses the very same clause that both EE and O2 make use of. Only Vodafone remain.
Three have a huge following and very passionate customers, so they’ll no doubt voice their dissatisfaction over the coming weeks.
The stance from Three is now as follows…
We know mid-contract price increases are frustrating but as they are still common practice and we operate in one of the most competitive mobile markets in the world, we have reviewed our approach.
In the present market, we feel re-introducing mid-contract price increases for new contracts signed on or after 29 May is the best way of maintaining investment in our award winning network and of offering benefits which customers really value, like 4G and roaming at no extra cost in 18 countries.
We will ensure everyone who enters into a contract with us understands fully how and when the cost of their contract will change.
In other words, “we changed our mind”.