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Orange and T-Mobile customers to get another price hike

If you’re one of the millions of customers of Orange and T-Mobile you’re going to see still a 3,3% hike in your mobile phone bill next month.

According to an EE (which was formed in 2010 through the merger of Deutsche Telekom and France Télécom, and their respective T-Mobile and Orange companies), the reason behind the hike is rising business costs, which is the same exact line that was used in 2012, when the two operators previously hit customers with another mid-contract hike.

In January of last year, Orange increased pay monthly customers’ bills by 4.34%, while T-Mobile hiked prices by 3.7% just a few months later, while this time the increase will be 3,3% or about 70p more to the average bill.

However, customers who signed up to EE for 4G mobile service will not see their costs increase, while those Orange and T-Mobile subscribers who upgraded their deals after December 2 and January 22 respectively, will get a six month reprieve before the increase.

Many customers still believe their mobile phone contracts are fixed, but the terms and conditions– in fine print – states that prices can be increased during a contract at the same rate as the Retail Prices Index, which measures inflation and also states that unhappy customers who want to switch companies will have to pony up an extra a fee.

Ofcom, the telecoms regulator is currently investigating mid-contract price rises and has often called for operators to be more transparent about price rises, and has proposed that customers be able to get out of their contracts without penalty if prices are increased.

To try to mitigate the new hike and avoid further increases for customers, EE is launching on April 10th a new fixed-rate contract, the first of its kind in the industry that will enable customers to pay a pay a premium of between 50p and £2 to fix the price of their tariff for the entire contract duration.

"We have listened to our customers and understand that some would like the option of fixing the price of their monthly plan," said EE. "That's why we are also launching a 'Fix Your Monthly Plan' option - the first of its kind in the industry. We know price 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."

EE will sweep in about £52 million from the two networks with this latest increase, according to consumer group Which? executive director Richard Lloyd.

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