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More money down the line for phones and broadband as millions face price increases midway through the contract

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More money later for phones and broadband as millions of customers face price hikes mid-contract

  • Charity Citizens Advice says industry wants to charge millions of extra £2.5bn
  • Nine out of ten have broadband contracts that can push prices up midway
  • Average monthly bills are £33.10 for broadband customers but can go up to £60
  • Meanwhile, average consumer mobile bills are £22.60 but could rise to £40

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Millions of mobile and broadband customers are faced with paying an extra £100 a year thanks to price hikes that are quelling inflation.

Consumer charity Citizens Advice says the industry wants to charge 13 million customers an additional £2.5 billion.

It showed that nine in ten broadband customers and seven in ten mobile customers have a contract with prices that can be increased halfway.

Starting in April, they are likely to see huge increases, possibly more than 15 percent.

Small print details allowed companies to increase their prices by the inflation rate of the retail price index in January, plus 3.9 percent.

Recent estimates from the Bank of England predict that this inflation rate could reach 12.6 percent.

The average monthly bills are £22.60 for mobile and £33.10 for broadband. Citizens Advice estimates they could rise by £40 and £60 respectively.

Chief executive Dame Clare Moriarty said: ‘We want them to cancel mid-term price increases this year.’

Consumer Goods Citizens Advice found that nine in ten broadband customers and seven in ten mobile customers have a contract with prices that can be increased halfway through

Consumer Goods Citizens Advice found that nine in ten broadband customers and seven in ten mobile customers have a contract with prices that can be increased halfway through

Ofcom spokesperson Lindsey Fussell (pictured) urged companies to 'think very carefully' about the impact rising bills are having on households

Ofcom spokesperson Lindsey Fussell (pictured) urged companies to 'think very carefully' about the impact rising bills are having on households

Ofcom spokesperson Lindsey Fussell (pictured) urged companies to ‘think very carefully’ about the impact rising bills are having on households

Watchdog Ofcom has also asked the companies to voluntarily cancel the inflation-plus hikes, but it has no legal powers to control or restrict retail prices.

Spokesperson Lindsey Fussell said: “We are facing a generational crisis in the budgets of homes and businesses across the country. And while telecom bills may only represent a fraction of household energy costs, every bill matters.’

Speaking at the Connected Britain Conference in London, she added: ‘We want companies to think very carefully about what is justified during an exceptional period of hardship for many people.

“We believe that companies have a duty to their customers to recognize and respond to a unique economic environment. We expect them to take that responsibility.

“They can do that within their means, and without compromising on fair returns or continued investment.”

Telecom companies argue that the money raised through bills is needed to fund the rollout of high-speed broadband to homes and businesses.

However, the money also finances bloated TV deals for Premier League football and other sports.