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How to handle mobile phone contract price increases

Lynn Wright / 10 March 2016 ( 14 February 2020 )

Here’s what to do when faced with mobile phone tariff price hikes.

Alarm clock
Act quickly - you usually have a notice period in which to object to any increases or changes in your contract

Mobile phone tariffs can be a big expense. Spending more and more each month to use your mobile phone to surf the web, use social media, online banking, take photos and videos, listen to the radio, stream music and videos, download apps and podcasts, send texts and even make calls texts is costly.

But it can quickly get worse if your mobile phone network decides to increase the price of your tariff, or switch you to a more expensive one.

What should I do?

The good news is that if your mobile phone network decides to switch you to a pricier tariff, you don’t have to accept it.

Any significant change in your contract gives you the right to switch to another mobile phone network without penalty – even if you’re still within your contract period.

If your mobile network operator tells you it’s going to switch you to a more expensive tariff, here’s what you can do:

1. Don’t ignore it. 

Check the features of the new tariff, such as number of calls, texts and data included. Don’t like what you’ll be getting? Give them a call and complain.

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2. Act fast

Mobile phone networks must give reasonable notice – typically 30 days – before they switch your tariff. Don’t wait until after the deadline to contact them. They can argue that by not taking your business elsewhere, you’ve accepted the new tariff and its contracted terms by default.

3. Negotiate

Call the mobile phone network and request a better deal. It’s less hassle than switching, and if there’s negative publicity at the time you may be offered a better tariff to stay.

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4. Shop around

Look for other mobile phone tariffs that offer similar text, call and data allowances to the one you’re currently on. Chances are you’ll find an even better deal.

5. Get a PAC code

If you’d like to keep your current mobile number when you switch provider, contact your mobile phone network and request a PAC code, telling them you’re moving due to their planned tariff change.

By law, they have to give you the PAC code. You have 30 days to use it to transfer your mobile number to a different mobile phone network.

Contact the new network with the PAC code and they’ll switch you.

More information on how to keep your mobile number when switching provider.

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For more tips and useful information, browse our technology articles.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.