Mobile and broadband price increases

Existing customers draw the short straw

Sir, – Further to Conor Pope’s piece on mobile and broadband price rises (“Mobile and broadband users face multiple communication price hikes without any chance to switch”, Your Money, February 26th), I was reviewing this month’s bill only to see that next month’s predicted bill for April had a price hike of more than 10 per cent.

This particular contract was renegotiated in November, the provider having proposed an increase to €92 a month; eventually, after several calls and an egregious amount of time spent on hold, they decreased the price to €73. From April, it will increase to €81 but I have no negotiating power again until November – it is like an upward-only rent contract, in favour of the provider only.

While spending several hours on the phone in November, it struck me that consumers remaining with a provider are on the back foot when actually trying to bring prices down, as in many cases prices for existing customers aren’t advertised. A customer choosing to remain with a provider, which should be easier all around for both consumer and provider, are very much in the dark as to what they actually should be paying. It seems very much to be based on how much persistence, resistance to rises, evidence of other prices and luck they have on the day.

Providers also make it difficult, leaving consumers on the phone for up to an hour to speak to them to try to do this. It shouldn’t be so.


These increases, while individually may look small, are greater than the current rate of inflation of 4.1 per cent, not to mind far greater than any pay rises most employees could expect to receive, particularly when happening across the range of services the average customer must engage in for basic life requirements, thus eroding consumers’ purchasing power in favour of shareholder profits. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 3.