EE set to increase prices again

3 June 2018, 11:49   By Angela Moran

Mobile network EE has announced plans to increase prices for many out of bundle services, as well as calls to certain premium and international numbers, with some call charges set to double.

ee on mobile screen
Credit: sdx15/

It's been an expensive year so far for EE customers. This latest price increase comes just three months after EE's last price hike. In March, millions of customers were hit by a 4.1 percent price increase.

Worse still, affected customers who attempt to escape the increases by moving to another provider are likely to be charged penalty fees.

Which services and how much?

In a recent statement, an EE spokesperson said: "We are contacting some of our pay monthly mobile customers to inform them of changes we are making to the cost of calls made outside of their allowances from 25th June 2018."

Here's a list of all price increases:

  • Standard call charges will rise from 50p to 55p per minute.
  • Calls from the UK to countries in the EU zone will go up from £1 to £1.50.
  • Calls from the UK to the Channel Islands and the Republic of Island will rise from 50p to £1 per minute.
  • Calls from the UK to countries outside the EU will also increase from £1.60 to £2 per minute.
  • Calls to numbers starting with 08, 09 and 118 are going up from 50p to 55p per minute.
  • Picture messages will now cost 55p instead of 50p.

However, in most cases, customers will only be affected if they exceed their monthly call plan allowances or use services not already included in their monthly package.

Investment plans to blame

The price hikes are the consequence of the network's efforts to raise funds for future investment plans, according to EE: "We don't take the decision to increase prices lightly, and this is the first increase to mobile out of bundle costs since 2016, and even after these changes our pricing is comparable to other mobile operators. We're committed to providing our customers the best experience, service and value, and these small changes help us to continue to invest in the services we provide to our customers."

This certainly makes sense. In April this year, at Ofcom's most recent spectrum auction, the network invested heavily in the development of its 4G and 5G capabilities.

Penalties for leaving

Anyone who is put off by the new call charges and wishes to move to another provider will find it difficult.

Ofcom's regulations make it possible for customers to get out of their phone contract early if they are subject to price increases they weren't warned about when first signing up. However, the same rules don't apply to out of bundle services.

Only customers who suffer material detriment as a result of the increases will be allowed to end their contract prematurely. This is when a customer's total bill is 5% higher, as a result of the new price increases.

Even if customers can leave their contract early, moving to another provider may not necessarily mean lower phone bills. Other networks, including Three, O2 and Vodafone, have all increased their prices in recent months.

Plus, EE's mobile services do have many redeeming qualities it may be worth sticking around for. In February of this year, the network was voted best mobile provider by RootMetrics. Then in April, it was revealed as one of the UK's least complained about mobile networks.

Is it possible to avoid the new charges?

The best way to avoid being stung by out of bundle services is to be extra vigilant with call plan allowances. Customers can sign up to receive text reminders to alert them when they are nearing their monthly allowances.

More on EE:

EE pay as you go customers close to their monthly limits may want to opt for call boosts, which will give them additional talk time and texts, to prevent them running up charges for extra calls and services.

While those who frequently make calls abroad may want to consider signing up to one of EE's international call plans, given the rising price of these types of calls. These packages have much more generous allowances for international calls, 1,100 free minutes for their International pack and 500 for their International Extra pack.

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