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  • FIRST POST
    • 50Twuncle
    • By 50Twuncle 6th Apr 13, 12:07 PM
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    50Twuncle
    Tmobile price increase
    • #1
    • 6th Apr 13, 12:07 PM
    Tmobile price increase 6th Apr 13 at 12:07 PM
    I have this morning, received notification of a price increase on my Tmobile monthly plan - which amounts to 3.1% - to come into effect from 9 May - ie 5 weeks notice
    Surely - they cannot just increase prices as they see fit on existing contracts and with only a months notice too ?
Page 108
    • RandomCurve
    • By RandomCurve 24th Oct 13, 4:37 PM
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    RandomCurve
    Strangely no response from Ofcom on my last letter. You would have thought that a Regulator with a Consumer Protection remit that delayed publication of its findings for 4 months would be able to respond immediately as to why they have not sought to apply this retrospectively. But then again you would have expected TM to tell customers from the start that it had applied the March RPI rate

    Lets see how long it takes them!!!
  • Chimper
    Originally Posted by Chimper
    I agree. It appears that Ofcom has defined "material detriment" so there can be no argument. All previous increases will have caused material detriment and you should be free to leave. A definition of a term can't just apply to the future use of that term.
    But the contract says you only have 30 days from when they tell you to request termination - and that is long gone.
    Originally posted by RandomCurve
    I was thinking that if anyone had tried to get out of their contract due to material detriment within the termination time, but had it refused. Without going back over the posts I seem to remember that there were some who had claimed this.
    • anna2007
    • By anna2007 24th Oct 13, 7:32 PM
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    anna2007
    I was thinking that if anyone had tried to get out of their contract due to material detriment within the termination time, but had it refused. Without going back over the posts I seem to remember that there were some who had claimed this.
    Originally posted by Chimper
    I remember a few too - who were usually told not to bother with the material detriment route due to difficulty in proving it - obviously not the case now that Ofcom have given a definition.

    I agree that anyone who tried to cancel during the 30 day notice period due to material detriment has a good case - and (if I remember right) they have 9 months from the date of first complaint to take it to CISAS?

    For anyone else, the problem will be that TM will claim they had no guidance at that time on what constituted material detriment and I assume they'd use this as a defence.

    Some customers, myself included, who took their contracts out between December (possibly November) 2012 and May 2013 received notice of the price increase in April, however this isn't due to come into effect until next month (not sure of the reasoning behind the deferment, but possibly the legality of imposing an RPI-based increase on new contracts). The t&c's state that a cancellation charge won't apply if:

    "7.2.3.2. You are a Consumer and the change that We gave You Written Notice of in point 2.11.2 or 7.1.4 above is of material detriment to You and You give Us notice to immediately cancel this Agreement before the change takes effect"

    As the change doesn't actually come into effect for these customers until next month, if people give notice to TM now to cancel their contracts as per 7.2.3.2 above (and with Ofcom's definition of material detriment as supporting evidence), then there's a chance to make a good case to CISAS when TM refuse to cancel the contract.

    Also, 7.1.4 states:
    "We can increase any Price Plan Charge. We will give You Written Notice 30 days before We do so. The change will then apply to You once that notice has run out".

    I would argue that TM haven't given notice in accordance with the t&c's - giving notice 6 months before they increase the price plan charge clearly doesn't equate to 30 days before!
    • RandomCurve
    • By RandomCurve 24th Oct 13, 8:07 PM
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    RandomCurve
    I think TM will try and wriggle out of it as they have applied the price rise from May 9th, but have out of the kindness of their heart credited back the increase until November - that was their way of circumventing any Ofcom ruling which was expected in June.

    You could argue that they can't credit back sums they have not taken and therefore they have not actually implement the rise, other than for their own administrative purposes - which has nothing to do with your contract.

    The other option is to challenge TM to explain why they have not applied the rise until November. As I can see it they can only answer:
    1. To avoid Ofcom ruling - which they can't say (there again Ofcom are so soft they probably can say it)
    2. Because the Jan/Feb/Mar RPI can't be applied to a contract so new (in which case it is the wrong rate)
    3. That they are just nice guys and gals (then why not defer for everyone)?
    I think this could boil down to UTCCRs strict legal definitions or fair interpretation - and I think their is a good chance TM would lose.
    • RandomCurve
    • By RandomCurve 24th Oct 13, 9:44 PM
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    RandomCurve
    No surprises here !!!

    http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2013/09/27/t-mobile-and-orange-garner-most-customer-complaints-to-ofcom/
    • RandomCurve
    • By RandomCurve 25th Oct 13, 11:53 PM
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    RandomCurve
    Colour key below:
    Red - my narrative
    Blue - OFT Unfair terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 (UTCCRs) I've Bolded the important bits
    Black - quotes from EEs Annual Accounts o December 31st 2012 and 1st Quarter update 2013

    I think anybody on a Pre Oct 2012 contract who never requested cancellation can still have the price rise cancelled under the UTCCRs by proving that TM costs have not increased by RPI (in fact they have fallen), have applied RPI with out regard to their actual cost increases and under the UTTCCRs suppliers a deemed to be able to forecast and control cost better than consumers therefore in a contract as short as 24 months it is UNFAIR to have a price rise clause at all.

    The OFT guidance on the UTTCRS states:

    12.1 The OFT's objections to variation clauses generally are set out under Group 10. If a contract is to be considered balanced, each party should be sure of getting what they were promised in exchange for providing the 'consideration' they agreed to provide. A clause allowing the supplier to increase the price – varying the most important of all of the consumer'scontractual obligations – has clear potential for unfairness.

    TM will argue that they are allowed to increase prices in line with costs as they have linked the price rise to inflation and indeed the OFT guidance does state (12.4):

    12.4 A degree of flexibility in pricing may be achieved fairly in the following ways.30

    • Where the level and timing of any price increases are specified (within narrow limits if not precisely) they effectively form part of the agreed price. As such they are acceptable, provided the details are clearly and adequately drawn to the consumer's attention.

    • Terms which permit increases linked to a relevant published price index such as the RPI are likely to be acceptable, as paragraph 2 of Schedule 2 to the Regulations indicates, subject to the same proviso.

    • Any kind of variation clause may in principle be fair if consumers are free to escape its effects by ending the contract. To be genuinely free to cancel, they must not be left worse off for having entered the contract, whether by experiencing financial loss (for example, forfeiture of a prepayment) or serious inconvenience, or any other adverse consequences.31

    But the OFT also states that (12.3 is the important bit)

    12.2 Any purely discretionary right to set or vary a price after the consumer has become bound to pay is obviously objectionable. That applies particularly to terms allowing the supplier to charge a price on delivery ofgoods that is not what was quoted to the consumer when the order was placed. It also applies to rights to increase payments under continuing contracts where consumers are 'captive' – that is, they have no penalty-free right to cancel.

    12.3 A price variation clause is not necessarily fair just because it is not discretionary – for example, a right to increase prices to cover increased costs experienced by the supplier. Suppliers are much better able to anticipate and control changes in their own costs than consumers can possibly be. In any case, such a clause is particularly open to abuse, because consumers can have no reasonable certainty that the increases imposed on them actually match net cost increases


    And you can prove that TM have not even attempted to reflect their costs increases (i.e have abused their right to link increases to RPI) and are simply adding to the bottom line as follows:

    1 TM state that they ANTICIPATED the March RPI rate, but if they are trying to cover real cost increases they would have calculated what their cost increase has been and then capped the rise to the LOWER of the real cost increase or RPI – the fact that they ANTICIPATED RPI proves that they have taken no account of their own cost increases and therefore the price rise is UNENFORCABLE

    2 TMs accounts for the year ended 31st December 2013 clearly state that costs have DECREASED and profit margins increased because of this:

    We reduced indirect costs by 3.1% yoy. We achieved an annual run rate of £369m in gross opex savings or 83% of the £445m annual run rate goal and are on track for £3.5bn+ NPV in synergy savings by 2014.

    This has improved our full year adjusted EBITDA margin to 21.2%, with H2 adjusted EBITDA margin reaching 22.0%.

    3 EEs first quarter results clearly show that they are treating the pricerise as a REVENUE ENHANCEMENT and not a way of covering increased costs:

    Initiatives

    Introduced postpaid RPI price adjustments
    –Launched competitive prepaidoffers in April that more effectively monetise data (T-Mobile Smart Packs and enhanced Orange Dolphin)
    –Further extended 4G smartphone range

    As you can see it makes no reference to increased costs!

    I am preparing a case in relation to an Orange contract which applies the same logic and will post a link to that once it is ready
    Last edited by RandomCurve; 25-10-2013 at 11:58 PM.
    • RandomCurve
    • By RandomCurve 28th Oct 13, 7:58 AM
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    RandomCurve
    I have written a full version of a template letter for people to send to T-Mobile (and Orange) to claim back the price rise sums. However in the further research I have carried out I'm sure that I can prove hat ALL mobile phone operators price rise clauses (however they are worded) breach the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 EVEN IF you were made fully aware of their existence when you entered into the contract.

    I still need to check my facts out - and "discuss" with OFCOM - so I will delay up loading the letter for now.
    • RandomCurve
    • By RandomCurve 30th Oct 13, 5:31 PM
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    RandomCurve
    A major break through for al T-Mobile customers on Version 59 of the contract.

    You should shortly be receiving a communication from EE cancelling your price rise - pressure on Ofcom is finally paying off

    Unfortunately Ofcom don't seem to have the backbone to ask EE to do the same for V58 contract holders so I fear Ofcoms INVESTIGATION was actually a NEGOTIATION - to ensure the result was of least harm to T-M!!!

    I will be starting a new thread detailing how I believe EVERYONE can have the price rise refunded soon.

    For now lets celebrate a small victory - and spare a thought for silent Swantee

    Humble in victory as ever - RC
    • RandomCurve
    • By RandomCurve 3rd Nov 13, 9:16 PM
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    RandomCurve
    Ok enough celebrating!

    I have now started the ball rolling in seeking permission from my MP to ask the Parliamentary Ombudsman to review Ofcom's handling (inactivity) of the T-Mobile price rise. In the hope that Ofcom will grow some backbone and direct EE to cancel all of the TM May 9th prices rises for both versions of the contract.

    I am also seeking that the review includes Ofcom explaining why it has not sought a court review on the enforceability of all past rises on all phone contracts (Mobile and fixed from all operators) where the contract length is less than 24 months. In order that the court can rule them unenforceable and therefore refundable! I've already won a case against Orange that proves the price rise clauses are unenforceable!
    • RandomCurve
    • By RandomCurve 12th Nov 13, 8:23 PM
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    RandomCurve
    Can someone on V59 of the contract who receives the price rise cancellation letter from T-Mobile post it here? I am interested to see what reason they use for cancelling.

    Also make sure you are contacted if you are on V59. V59 of the T-Mobile contract came into force for contracts taken out after 30 October 2012 see here:
    http://www.t-mobile.co.uk/shop/terms-and-conditions/terms/?WT.mc_id=ON_MEC_A_AffWin_Skimbit&WT.tsrc=Affiliat e&awc=3519_1369609866_e94adc598a1a05b9e6f362093196 7c0c

    I know in my case (I took my contract out in Mid December 2012) and several others T-Mobile systems had me recorded as being on V58 instead of V59.

    If you don't hear from T-Mobile then contact them and insist you are on V59 (the adjudicator in my case said "....having taken out a contract after their publication it is wholly reasonable for the customer to believe it is to version V59 of the Terms to which he is bound.")
    • RandomCurve
    • By RandomCurve 12th Nov 13, 9:27 PM
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    RandomCurve
    New Thread
    I've finally got around to creating a new thread to detail how everyone should be able to get a refund of sums taken on price rise clauses.

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=63754559&posted=1#post63754559
  • gb12345
    by Barry Temper reported.
    • Former MSE Helen
    • By Former MSE Helen 15th Nov 13, 3:11 PM
    • 2,324 Posts
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    Former MSE Helen
    MSE News: T-Mobile to refund customers after price rise blunder
    "Some T-Mobile customers are in line for refunds after winning a campaign over incorrect price rises..."

    Read the full story:

    T-Mobile to refund customers after price rise blunder




    Click reply below to discuss. If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply. If you aren’t sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.

    • RandomCurve
    • By RandomCurve 15th Nov 13, 5:36 PM
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    RandomCurve
    How corrupt are Ofcom?

    They sent me the email below and the obvious conclusion is that "adjusting the price increase" meant revoking it - it now seems it means reducing it to 3.2% - the percentage that should have been used. THIS CANNOT BE LEGAL!!!

    What this means is that any mobile phone company can apply any percentage they want to your contract - and if they get caught out they just have to reduce it to the correct RPI. This is CLEAR evidence that the contract term was originally breached, so if EE are allowed to retrospectively change the price then the 30 day cancellation must also be invoked at the originally breached price (30 days from the time that the breach is acknowledged - not 30 days from when the price rise was announced).


    BUT NOW YOU MAY BE ABLE TO TERMINATE THE CONTRACT PENALTY FREE AGAIN!
    If you are on V59 write in and request a penalty free cancellation on the basis that the T&Cs were breached in April and an incorrect RPI applied to your account, by retrospectively adjusting the RPI you have now become aware of the fact that their price rise letter was factually incorrect and therefore mislead you. You now have the evidence to request the penalty free termination - I think you can win this one - by T-Mobile trying to hold to 3.2% they may just have lost the lot!!!


    Dear RV

    Re: EE price increases in 2013 (versions 58 & 59)

    Thank you for your recent correspondence. I am writing to inform you that we have now concluded our consideration of the above matter.

    We wrote to EE to re-iterate its obligations under the current regulatory framework including the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999 (“UTCCRs”) and General Condition 9.6 (GC9.6). This has resulted in EE agreeing to take action for customers on version 59 (v59) of its mobile pay monthly terms and conditions, including adjusting the price increases and making repayments. It will be communicating the details to relevant customers in due course. You may, of course, contact it to discuss your position.
    • anna2007
    • By anna2007 15th Nov 13, 9:29 PM
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    anna2007
    SHAME ON YOU OFCOM - for failing to protect the consumers that are paying your wages (via the Communications Providers) - in relation to the T-Mobile increase, you've known since before the increase was implemented that 3.3% was above the increase allowed in T-Mobile's t&c's, yet you categorically stated to MSE in an article dated 8 May (the day before the deadline for customers to give notice to cancel) that EE were "acting reasonably".

    So the EE/Ofcom alliance has now decided to correct EE's mistake via a 0.1% reduction in the price increase, a clear acknowledgement that the price increase that T-Mobile gave notice of back in April was above the rate of RPI allowed per the t&c's.

    Then Ofcom decides to define "material detriment", something so fundamental and significant to General Condition 9.6 that without that definition it is rendered meaningless (which means in terms of the GC's Ofcom has failed to meet its basic statutory duty to protect consumers). I understand why Ofcom recently decided to give a definition (their obligations under the EU legislation), but it hardly helps affected consumers if Ofcom are prepared to stand by and allow providers to impose ANY price increase that we now know is of material detriment to the consumer!

    As for MSE... rather than reporting on the insignificant fact that customers will save 0.1% on the price increase (not very money-saving, is it?), it would make the article far more interesting and pertinent if you asked Ofcom/EE to confirm:

    In light of Ofcom's definition of material detriment, why is this price increase being allowed at all, when we now know that ANY increase in the price plan is of material detriment to the consumer?

    As the RPI rate used in implementing the price increase was clearly incorrect, why is the amendment being restricted to a small number of customers, when ALL customers received a 3.3% increase?

    T-Mobile are not permitted to amend the contract price without giving 30 days written notice to customers and allowing them to cancel without penalty if they do not agree (it's in the terms of the contract and a requirement of GC9.6). Why is there no mention in the article that customers will be given the opportunity to cancel without penalty (unless, of course, TM are not abiding by the t&c's or GC's and intend to amend the price without giving proper notice).
    Last edited by anna2007; 16-11-2013 at 8:34 AM.
    • lazyjack
    • By lazyjack 16th Nov 13, 8:39 AM
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    • 116 Thanks
    lazyjack
    I can't really add much more about Ofcom, they are totally spineless and until they get their act together the mobile companies will keep running rings around them and ripping off their customers.

    How on earth can TM/EE breach the T&C, then all they are asked to do is reduce the increase ? It is a complete farce.
    • RandomCurve
    • By RandomCurve 16th Nov 13, 8:54 AM
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    RandomCurve
    Email below sent to Ofcom, Ed Vaizey my MP and news agencies.

    We are witnessing a fraud being carried out on over 2 million consumers and the regulator colludes with EE.

    I was already booked to see my MP on 29th November to start the process of launching a Parliamentary Ombudsman investigation into Ofcom handling of this whole affair of mid term price rises - I will also be asking them to look into allegations of CORRUTION!!


    Dear Mr Howell,

    I understand that the action Ofcom - the regulator with a STATUTORY remit to protect UK citizens - has agreed is that a mis-applied price rise can be corrected by applying the RPI rate that should have been applied in the first place - HOW CAN THIS BE LEGAL? I have refrained from saying this before, but I really am beginning to believe that there is a very high level of CORRUPTION within Ofcom and a high degree of COLUSION with the industry within Ofcom.

    The above are serious allegations and probably go even beyond the remit of the PO.


    How can Ofcom:
    1. So obviously blunder on 7th May by announcing that EE had acted reasonably while consumers still had an opportunity to cancel?
    2. How can this "correction" be legal?
      1. They applied the wrong RPI and TOLD customers it was the current RPI - THIS IS FRAUD!
    3. Why did Ofcom give EE a Monopoly position on 4G - prices for 4G have dropped from £50 to £25 (approx.) since the market was opened up?
      1. Why has Ofcom taken no action on this profiteering?
    Can you please provide me with the following details:
    1. How have you instructed T-Mobile to make the correction - do they need to give 30 days notice?
    2. Why is this not FRAUD?
    3. To whom do I make a formal allegation of corruption against Ofcom to?
    Regards

    Feel free to send this - or something similar to Graham:
    graham.howell@ofcom.org.uk
    • RandomCurve
    • By RandomCurve 16th Nov 13, 8:57 AM
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    RandomCurve
    I think some good may come of this as it may open up an opportunity to request a penalty free cancellation again!

    I'll try and get something on the forum over the weekend
    • RandomCurve
    • By RandomCurve 16th Nov 13, 8:59 AM
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    RandomCurve
    I can't really add much more about Ofcom, they are totally spineless and until they get their act together the mobile companies will keep running rings around them and ripping off their customers.

    How on earth can TM/EE breach the T&C, then all they are asked to do is reduce the increase ? It is a complete farce.
    Originally posted by lazyjack
    Ofcom will never get their act together - they are "In bed" with EE!!
    • RandomCurve
    • By RandomCurve 16th Nov 13, 9:26 AM
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    RandomCurve
    The issue we have now is that we are on the boarder (possibly crossed) of contract/consumer law and Criminal law!

    I am going to assume we are still on the contract/consumer law side - but I'm really not sure!

    There are a number of ways we can approach trying to get a penalty free termination for V59 customers- I will put up the ones that I think may hold water - please challenge them and add any others you may have.

    Also timing will be vital so you will need to act quickly - if you are on FaceBook/Twitter PLEASE direct people to this forum. and ask people to forward on the link.

    And remember from the forum post back in April/May - while we are trying to figure this out SEND AN EMAIL TO T-MOBILE stating that you want a penalty free cancelation due to the price increase (don't put any dates or any other information) you are just "saving a space".
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