UK telecoms providers are set to increase broadband prices by an inflation-busting 14% from April in a move consumer watchdog Which? has strongly criticised due to the ongoing cost of living crisis.
BT, EE, TalkTalk and Vodafone are among the firms that will raise costs in line with the annual consumer prices index (CPI), which is set to add around £60 to customers’ yearly broadband bills.
Which? believes the latest hikes are unwarranted when people are already struggling to cope with rising costs of goods.
It urged telecoms providers to “step up and play their part” by reconsidering the scale of the increases, but it also aired concerns about exit fees.
That’s because customers may have to fork out more than £200 to leave their contracts early if they are unhappy with the price bump.
While Ofcom rules state customers can exit contracts if providers announce unexpected price rises, the upcoming changes don’t qualify as they are annual increases linked to inflation.
Ofcom is investigating whether these “secret” yearly increases lead to excessive and unfair costs for broadband and mobile services.
A spokesperson for BT Consumer stated that the average customer will have to pay around £1 per week more from April, but that does not apply to those receiving social tariffs.
A spokesperson for BT Consumer stated that the average customer will have to pay around £1 per week more from April but that it’s not applicable to those receiving social tariffs.
Watchdog Which? urged anyone struggling with bills to apply for these tariffs or to contact their provider to find out about additional support available.