O2 price rise may lose contract customers


We have some news today about an O2 price rise with bill changes coming from March 1, and we wonder if this rise may lead to the company losing contract customers. Existing customers are to have their contract prices increased by 2.7%, and this follows a recent Ofcom ruling for customers with new contracts from January 23.

Some readers may already have heard about the new ruling from Ofcom that will allow customers with new contracts from January 23 to quit their provider mid-contract if the pricing goes up. Of course that doesn’t help those with contracts before that date and this is bound to go down like a lead balloon to existing O2 customers with rising bills.

The price change applies from March bill dates, although O2 points out the amount is in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI). The company also points out that the changes are in accordance with stated terms and conditions that allow the mobile operator to put up the prices (or cut them) occasionally, with no more than once monthly subscription rise over 12 months.

The last mid-contract tariff changes came in February last year when prices went up by 3.2%. The new Ofcom guidance according to Mobile News, is that monthly charges can be increased during March this year and then in April every year from 2015 there can be possible further decreases or increases going by the RPI rate. Meanwhile O2 says customers do not have the right to end their contracts because of an RPI change being applied annually.

As well as this price rise O2 is also making it more expensive for those customers who exceed any inclusive allowance. Voice calls on this basis will rise from 35p a minute to 40p a minute with a one-minute minimum charge, while texts will rise from 12p to 15p, and MMS goes up to 40p from 35p.

While O2 insists that these price rises will mean that most customers will pay no more than 60p extra for their monthly subscriptions, this is bound to cause some dissatisfaction among existing customers.

It seems likely that some O2 customers will feel caught out by this latest price rise and will think twice about future contracts with the operator, as is already being considered by one member of the Phones Review team. We’d really like to know what readers think about this.

Are you an existing O2 customer annoyed to hear of this new price rise coming in March? Will you consider jumping ship to another operator? Let us have your comments on this.


12 thoughts on “O2 price rise may lose contract customers”

  1. Jason Mayfield-Lewis says:

    To be honest, I’ve been thinking about losing O2 for a while now – they didn’t take my comments that there was obviously an issue with our local transmitter at all seriously, and although now all the issues do seem to have been resolved (as in, my calls are actually being routed to my phone, rather than my voicemail, when I have full signal, and I’m receiving texts within the day that they were sent) I didn’t appreciate the contempt they treated me with, trying to blame me or tell my my Nexus 4 (of which I tried two, along with an old S2 and an old Desire Z, all of which exhibited the problem.) Their TuGo service is a fairly good idea (although the implementation leaves a lot to be desired at the moment) but I can’t say I’m likely to hang around when my contract ends in a couple of months with the contempt they treated me with and how astronomically expensive all their contracts are compared to the others (and I’ve been with them since I first took out a phone contract in 2006.)

    I always thought I’d stick with them just because their coverage in the Westcountry seems better than any other network, but Three seem to be doing okay now, even in some areas where their ‘fallback’ EE doesn’t! In fact, EE are a joke now, my partner’s phone rarely has a strong enough signal to use in the house since they merged T-Mobile and Orange’s infrastructure “without harming coverage” my arse.

  2. Damian says:

    My contract will be going up from £27pm to £27.72pm which is still cheaper than the £29pm that Vodafone charge for the same thing but still more than some others. Having said that I can’t justify the £5pm extra to get 4G even though I have the right phone in the right area which is a shame as it would be nice to make use of the infrastructure they’ve put in place instead of relying on 3G which still seems to have plenty of dead spots. When a business exceeds expectations (like when O2 first launched their Home Broadband) it counts for a lot in people’s minds when in comes to renewal time. I feel fairly indifferent to O2 these days and price rises won’t help their case.

  3. CobberUK says:

    Nothing worse than these thieving companies side stepping clear rules with bullsh1t fine print then just quoting “Its in the T&Cs”. F**king outrageous

  4. shohel says:

    I am existing customer and not happy for that but have no option to do anything. in my next upgrade I will go for cheapest deal with o2 or any other operator

  5. Gibbsrule#40 says:

    Not happy about the rise in call charges. To me a contract is a contract and should remain binding to BOTH parties. Will cancel at the end of contract.

  6. Matt Jackson says:

    if 02 think they can go changing prices mid contract when the customer has no option (like me), then in 12months time ill be looking else where. Very poor customer focus using the term ‘contract’ against the customer in this way. if suppliers are confident of their tariff then apply the rpi to new customers, then fix the price for the 12 or 24month contracts. people set budgets when times are hard, like now. Suppliers like 02 will soon work out if their tariff is competitive based on how the public rate their services and take up new contracts… and at this rate i see most of my friends on EE or vodaphone. Play fair 02!

  7. RoughC says:

    O2 are already far from the cheapest and must be struggling to keep up with the likes of 3 that have improved their coverage and offer unlimited data packages. I’ve only just entered a new contract with O2 and have been with them for years but I will certainly be leaving them…all be it in 20 long months once my contract runs out! My wages haven’t gone up in 3 years….maybe the customer should come first rather than their greed.

  8. MartinJWS says:

    I started out at £45 pm contract in September 2012, this will be the second rise in tariff, which was never explained when I took the contract out. Now it’s going to be £48.75.
    I certainly won’t be renewing my contract with O2 this year.

  9. Daniel Clarke says:

    Living in the area where I do – in darkest Norfolk, the availability at home for 3G is zero (gprs is the only signal available). So what do O2 do? They increase the price of their package, in line with the ‘RPI’. They obviously are wanting their customers to be loyal – so they mention, between the lines, that you have no choice because it’s in your T&Cs and Contract. This is very bad customer service – perhaps they are trying to increase the price of their business, so there are no more takeover bids from Three?!? If they can improve their service – so have 3G at home, then I perhaps would not mind staying with them – but as they do not, then a switch is inevitable in June…

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