ORANGE AND T-MOBILE CUSTOMERS will be hit with contract price increases from April, with EE citing rising business costs as the reason for the sudden surprise price hikes.
In a move that's likely to rile its 5.5 million customers across the country, EE has announced that Orange and T-Mobile will charge customers between 50p and £2 more on their monthly bills from 10 April and 9 May, respectively.
The company said, "Due to inflation, which directly affects the costs of running our business, we've had to re-evaluate our prices and introduce an increase," adding that items such as per call charges, costs and other add-ons will not be affected by the imminent rate increase.
So if you're currently on a £36 Orange contract, for example, you'll start paying £37.16 per month from 10 April. If you're on a £25 a month T-Mobile contract, expect this to increase to £25.81.
There's good news for those who have signed up to one of EE's 4G contracts though, as the firm said that the price increase will only hit those on its cheaper Orange and T-Mobile networks. Those who joined either network recently will be exempt from the price increase, as will those on SIM-only deals and customers on business contracts.
However, if you're not in one of those lucky groups, don't think that you'll be able to throw your toys out of the pram and exit mid-contract, as thanks to the small print in your contract this is unlikely to happen without you paying a hefty fee.
An EE spokesperson told The Guardian, "The terms and conditions state that prices can be increased mid-contract, by the same [rate] as the Retail Prices Index.
"Customers are encouraged to read the terms and conditions and have a 14-day period in which to change their minds. If customers are unhappy they can break their contract if they pay a fee for leaving us early.
"We know prices rises are never great news, but we always aim to offer great value to our customers as well as the best service on the UK's biggest network."
Saying that, EE has launched a new scheme called "Fix Your Monthly Plan", which it says provides customers with the option to fix the price of their contract from as little as 50p per month.
This isn't the first time that Orange and T-Mobile customers have been hit with an unexpected price increase. In January 2012 Orange upped its contract prices by 4.34 percent, while T-Mobile increased its prices by 3.7 percent in May 2012. µ