Don't like the Vodafone price hike - ditch them.

Posted by Richard Catlin in Personal Finance on 17 June 2015 - Richard is Marketing Director at checkmyfile.

Vodafone has announced that it is ‘simplifying’ the way it charges for non-geographical numbers (also known as service numbers) in an attempt to bring more transparency to its pricing.

In truth, it’s a price hike.

Rather than have different per-minute costs depending on the number you’re calling, there will be a single 37.5p tariff across the board, with a 1-minute minimum. Yes, Vodafone isn’t lying when it says that ‘some call charges will drop’ but for the vast majority of people, these reductions will be for calls they are unlikely to make very often – for example, ‘radio-paging services’ and ‘personal number services’, whatever they are - and even where they do drop, it’s to the eye-watering 37.5p rate.

The biggest impact is likely to be felt when people call non-geographic numbers – those starting 084, 087, 09 and 118. These are increasing from 19.17p to 37.5p a minute. There is also a ‘service charge’ as set by the company you are calling, attached to these numbers. 0500 Freephone numbers are increasing from 17p a minute to yes, you guessed it, 37.5p.

Picture messages are also increasing.

The good news is that if you are a Vodafone customer and you are not happy with the price increase, you can end your contract with them without charge. To do so, customers need to write to them within 30 days of being informed of the increase.

That’s the crucial bit. If you are an unhappy customer, it’s best to take advantage of the Ofcom ruling that allows you to say “no thanks” to a price increase and get out of your contract without penalty. If, on the other hand, you wait until the 30-day grace period has passed you’re unlikely to get anywhere. The worst possible thing you can do in that scenario is get into a dispute where you choose not to pay your bill.

Take that route and it’s only going to end in one way – a nasty default on your credit report, a lengthy, frustrating an in all likelihood, fruitless dispute – and your ability to get a contract mobile, or other form of credit, in danger.

So don’t be lazy. If you do decide to dump Vodafone, do it properly.

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