Vodafone’s Sneaky Price Increase

Vodafone have announced that they’re increasing the cost of your monthly line rental by almost the cost of inflation due to increased running-costs. Do you want to use this as an excuse to end your contract early?

It becomes  frustrating when you realise that products are getting smaller yet are costing more. Profits are increasing yet prices for customers don’t fall.

Many companies state that manufacturing or running costs are increasing, but why should we, the end-users, foot the bill when additional costs can be covered with the profits being made?

In the Terms & Conditions of your Vodafone contract, it states that they can increase the cost if it’s less than inflation, but I think this is a bit unfair if you’ve signed up to a fixed-term contract with them. As you may or not may be aware, it’s very tricky to get out of your contract with a mobile provider, which nowadays lasts for up to two years.

However, I believe that I found a loophole within Vodafone‘s Terms & Conditions that will allow you to give 30 days notice of cancellation, citing their unreasonableness with this planned price increase.

A friend of mine (yes, I do have one) is almost half-way through a 2 year contract Vodafone text messagewith Vodafone and really fancies an iPhone 5. Out of principal (even though the price increase for him is £0.40/month) and because he wants an iPhone 5, he asked me to look at his contract to see if he could use this price increase as an excuse to terminate his contract. I did this and wrote a letter for my friend, explaining why Vodafone had effectively ended the agreement, which he then signed and posted to Vodafone. 6 days later, he received a text message from Vodafone, providing him with a PAC (Port Authorisation Code) and stating that they were sorry he was leaving them.

I would like to share that letter with you. All you need to do is complete the blank fields with your own details, make sure you sign the letter and then post it to:

Customer Relations Manager
Vodafone Limited
The Connection
Newbury
Berkshire
RG14 2FN

Please note the following things:

  • I will not and cannot guarantee that this will be successful for you. The fact that this was successful for my friend may have been a sheer fluke. You must accept that there’s every chance that Vodafone will tell you to piss off.
  • You need to act quickly; Vodafone‘s Terms & Conditions state that you need to write to them within 30 days of them notifying you of any changes (this time may already have passed- apologies if it has). I may be wrong, but I think it would be incredibly difficult for Vodafone to prove whether or not you actually received any notification of a price increase, just in case you wanted to dispute this.
  • My friend hasn’t received any confirmation in writing from Vodafone and is too lazy to ring them up. I would recommend contacting Vodafone by telephone immediately after receiving a text message to confirm what is happening and whether or not you will be expected to pay for the remainder of your contract.
  • If you use my letter and your contract with Vodafone is successfully terminated, consider making a PayPal contribution to donate@ninjahedgehog.co.uk towards the running cost of this website.
  • You accept that I offer no warranties or guarantees and that I’m not liable for anything that goes wrong or for any charges incurred. Basically, I’ve written a letter and I’m allowing you to use it, but you do so at your own risk.

You can find the letter for Microsoft Word 2007/2012, for Microsoft Word 97/2000 and in plain old Rich Text Format. Just download it, fill in the blanks, sign it and send it to Vodafone.

I’d love to receive your comments about whether or not this worked for you. If you’re not able to make a small donation for my time, a comment will be just as welcome.

Remember, you can donate via PayPal using the email address donate@ninjahedgehog.co.uk.



About Ninja Hedgehog

I’m Ninja Hedgehog, the creator of the Ninja Hedgehog website. I've written various things over the years but started Ninja Hedgehog in October 2011. I write about all kind of subjects but will never write about sport. Ever.
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55 Responses to Vodafone’s Sneaky Price Increase

  1. Alice F says:

    I’ve sent my letter off. I’ll let you know what response I receive (if any!)…

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      Keep us posted…

    • Alice F says:

      Received a text message from Vodafone confirming my contract termination! Thanks Ninja Hedgehog! I’ve made a donation to you x

      • Ninja Hedgehog says:

        Great!

        Let me know if you receive a confirmation in writing- I’m not sure whether or not a text message counts as written confirmation..?

        My friend hasn’t received anything through the post yet.

  2. James D says:

    I’ve sent mine off this morning. Lets see what happens….

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      Thanks- keep me updated.

      Vodafone keep deleting my posts from their forums, citing a breach of the Terms & Conditions for use of their forum under the “advertising” section.

      Seems like they just don’t want me helping their customers get out of their unfair contracts.

  3. Kick says:

    I sent my one off yesterday. I’ll let you know if I get a text message.

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      Hopefully you’ll get the text message and you can say goodbye to Vodafone.

      Or you could just take a new contract with them and get an iPhone 5…

  4. Erme says:

    I sent mine off just now after getting a particularly proud and arrogant manager from Glasgow (I could tell by the accent) on the phone to customer services….

    I’ll let you know if I receive a response. I’ve also emailed the director and CIAS….(or whatever it’s called) as per money saving expert…

  5. Erme says:

    What about your letters @Ninja Hedgehog? I attached the letter to the directors office to just in case and also CCed it to by social worker just to prove I have a disability. 🙂

  6. Erme says:

    I’m taking the new phone idea and getting a Samsung galaxy S3 :). Can’t stand my current phone so am quite happy 🙂

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      Can you clarify what’s happened for me?

      Are you saying that Vodafone have allowed you to upgrade to a new phone early? Did you use the letter? Did you argue the Terms & Conditions? Can you please give some more details?

  7. Erme says:

    I argued the T&C’s but they weren’t budging. I have to pay more for the new phone (it could have been as little as £3 a month but I chose like a bit more than that) and pay £189 when I next get my bill. But £189 for a new phone is a lot better than £240 for no phone and an ETF in my opinion 🙂

    They also record all the calls. They didn’t tell me the terms and conditions so will get those sent out to me at some point or else check the website. I am on a 9 month increased tariff (for the new phone) then a 12 month contract from like the end of July next year. I have learnt, NEVER again will I go for a 2 year contract. Tis just too long:eek;

    E

  8. DEvans says:

    The big question here is – do you have to pay out the phone hardware cost element of the contract if you get to terminate it early? I have about 8 months to go and the handset cost is obviously amortised over 24m – do they take that hit due to their terrible behaviour (first they cancel itemisation, then bills, then passport, then they put the prices up – shysters)

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      Thanks for your comment.

      The only way to find out for certain is to ask Vodafone directly. If you pay the Early Termination Fee, then you’d certainly keep the phone.

      I was once able to get out of a contract with O2 once, when they changed their Terms & Conditions- I didn’t pay anything and kept the phone.

      I ASSUME you get to keep the phone, because eventually you’d keep it anyway and in this instance, I’m arguing that Vodafone have effectively terminated their own contract.

      If in doubt, ask. Give Vodafone a ring.

  9. DEvans says:

    Thanks for the reply – I wont call them as I was on the phone for over an hour trying to get them to sort this and I think they make it up as they go along and its luck of the draw as to if you get someone half decent to talk to. They did offer unlimited calls and texts and 2Gb data – all pointless as we dont hit current limits and already feel we pay for something we dont use!

    I used a couple of bits from your letter and will fire this off together with the dealbreaker which is loss of passport (25Mb a day data abroad was fab – now they want £3 or a fiver per day). Cheers

  10. JD says:

    Thank you for this letter, I left it a bit late but just sent it off special delivery today so they will get it before the 1st. I also received my notification on the 4/10/12 even though they stated it was sent in September some time which I never received.

    I already had sent in my cancellation request which they have accepted 10 months before the contract is due to end, but I am hoping this can get me out.
    Thank you for the letter template will keep you updated.

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      Thanks for your comment.

      Please remember that I can’t offer any guarantees- I don’t know what effect the letter will have for you, but hopefully it will avoid any cancellation fees.

      Please keep me posted.

  11. Jazz says:

    I used your letter and today got my PAC code, I rang up their cancellation department and they are stating that I will have to pay off the remainder of my contract to get out not just one month worth of bill

    I don’t think she really understand the t&c herself though as she told me unless they increase my bill by 10% then they are not in breach so I have to pay out my contract.

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      You should argue the section that I’ve highlighted in the letter, stating that they are unable to prove it hasn’t caused you significant hardship (or whatever the wording was). I think t would be very difficult for Vodafone to get out of that if you stood your ground.

      I think it’s naughty of them to accept your cancellation notice despite the letter you sent stating that this was only to be done without charge. I would have thought that by accepting your signed letter, they are accepting the terms stated in it.

      If it were me, I would stand my ground and argue the Term & Condition that you are trying to use and the fact that Vodafone haven’t correctly acted upon your written instruction. I would give it a go.

  12. Jazz says:

    What I am planning to do is scan in the letter and send it to one of their complaints department via email because I want written confirmation rather than jumping the gun now and then have them take my money!

    If this got further like you say you could argue even in court that the letter states there should be no extra charge so they shouldn’t even have issue a PAC in the first place if they don’t agree to that

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      Make sure your scanned letter has your signature on it, otherwise it’s not even slightly valid.

      Definitely argue it- I’m confident that Vodafone will give in because they can’t disprove what you’re claiming.

      Let us know what happens.

  13. Max Rasool says:

    I got my PAC code last night, many thanks Ninja Hedgehog.
    I am just wondering if if they will make a charge for my Samsung S3 as the contract only started 4 to 5 months ago.

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      I highly recommend contacting Vodafone for clarification for what you may or may not be charged for.

      As per previous comments here, people have found that Vodafone still expect them to pay an ETF (Early Termination Fee) which I would dispute as the letter clearly states that by accepting it as notification of termination, it is done so without charge.

      Let us know any response from Vodafone and as I’ve told everyone else, stick to your guns.

  14. JD says:

    How long do you have to wait before you guys received the PAC code?
    My letter was sent on Monday 29th October, sent by special delivery – I have checked for proof and was successfully delivered yesterday (Tuesday 30th October)

    Appreciate any replies.
    Thanks

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      My friend received a PAC 6 days after sending the letter on a Saturday.

      Seeing as you only sent yours 2 days ago, I would wait at least until Monday.

      Definitely ring Vodafone when you receive the PAC and confirm whether or not you’re expected to pay an ETF. If they say that you need to pay anything, argue that they’ve accepted the letter sent as termination without charge and that by ending the agreement as requested, you do not expect to be charged.

  15. Jazz says:

    I’ve sent it to them and written for clarification and that if I’m getting my PAC code I should also not be charged for the remainder of my contract so will keep you updated.

    Also forgot to mention I got a a call from Vodafone as well asking why I wanted to leave, told them about the price increase and the fact I find their signal in general a bit rubbish, she said she might be able to offer something but said I wasn’t interested.

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      Some others have accepted an upgrade or a monthly discount for staying with Vodafone or signing up for a new contract, starting from now.

      It all depends on what you really want out of this.

  16. Chris says:

    Sent your letter last week, received the PAC code today. Phoned up to check what my last bill will be (contract ends in June, £36 a month) and was told £250 ish pounds as I have to pay the ETF. Argued the case for 40 mins and going round in circles. All he offered was £5 per month discount for 3 months. Now I’ve got to decide what to do next??

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      It’s up to you, but personally I’d argue that by issuing a PAC, Vodafone are agreeing that the contract is effectively terminated as detailed in the letter. It seems ridiculous that they’ve only half responded to the letter. Surely Vodafone should either agree with/accept the letter or not.

  17. DEvans says:

    Me too. They got my letter refusing to accept any additional costs for termination due to them breaching a contract but just issued a PAC (by txt m8) and a settlement cost. Who should I go to next as I’m not having that at all – its NOT cake an eat it time as THEY breached the contract not me.

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      I would ask them simply if they’ve accepted your letter as termination of your contract- this is a yes or no answer.

      If yes, then the letter as a whole states that there will be no charge due to Vodafone’s breach of their own T&Cs.

      If no, then why have they sent a PAC and asked you to pay an ETF?

  18. JD says:

    Why are they giving a PAC code but expecting the ETF to be paid? Surely they are reading the letter for the PAC code to be sent but ignoring the part regarding that only the next 30 days will be paid for?
    Have not received my code yet but does anybody have the number of the department we sent the letter to? Instead if speaking to the generic staff who don’t have a clue?

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      I don’t know what the direct telephone number would be.

      I agree entirely with you about the letter- Vodafone appear to have picked out the bits that benefit them but ignored the overall content of the letter.

      I would have thought that by issuing a PAC, they’ve accepted what’s stated in the letter. As the letter states that the contract has been terminated by Vodafone’s actions and should be done so without charge, it stands to reason that they shouldn’t be charging you an ETF.

      I also think it’s odd that Vodafone are sticking to their guns and maintaining that the price increase is fair and acceptable, yet they’re offering people who have used this letter money off their bill each month. This doesn’t make much sense, as the discount Vodafone are offering people is greater than the price increase each month. By doing this, are Vodafone agreeing that the price increase is unfair?

  19. Rob says:

    Hi
    would not let me cancel but got a new phone free and reduced my monthly payment down by 6.50 so i cant really argue with that

    Thanks

    Rob

  20. Jazz says:

    Got a call from them today saying that my contract isn’t actually going up at all, I told them I was advised it was going up by 48p when I rang them and she said I’ve been given wrong information and that my contract wasn’t going up at all! So this doesn’t apply to me, they said a letter had been sent out to me yesterday in regards to this explaining it.

    I might just take the hit with the termination fee because I’m sick of Vodafone anyway, not so much the customer service but find the network to be poor most of the time.

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      Did they say why your monthly plan wasn’t increasing, when the rise in price apparently affects everyone?

      I would use the supposed misinformation as a reason to waive any ETF. Argue that it’s caused you great inconvenience and state that if Vodafone couldn’t get that right, you’re concerned that any other information/correspondence provided in future may not be correct.

      Personally, I would kick up a stink about the whole matter and become such a nuisance to them that they waive any charges just to get rid of you!

  21. Jazz says:

    Yeah got a call from Heidi in their web relations team saying I was misinformed and that a letter went out to me yesterday, she could see on her call log that I had called in and I said I was told it would go up, she said it didn’t affect everyone and the agent probably just worked out 2.4% of what I’m on and told me that so would let the agent know.

    I’ll try getting hold her again and see what she can sort out but I doubt they will budge, they will always make it incredibly difficult getting out of contracts unless you buy them out!

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      …or unless you become a massive pain in the arse.

      To be honest, I thought the price increase affected everybody, because Vodafone state that it’s due to increased running costs- I’d be incredibly pissed off if I received a price increase but someone else I knew didn’t.

      I guess it all depends on what you want from this situation. Is it worth haggling for a discount or a free upgrade? Or are you that fed up with Vodafone that you definitely want to leave?

      If the latter, I would refuse to pay an EFT, tell Vodafone that you’re cancelling the Direct Debit with your bank and insist that they accepted the contract termination on the terms that your letter stated. Also throw in poor customer service, communication and information as well as perhaps mentioning OFCOM.

      Just my thoughts, but the way I see it, you have nothing to lose and I’m confident that they can’t dispute your issues or that those issues are sufficient grounds for Vodafone to let you out of your contract.

  22. JD says:

    I had a call from Sophie from their customer relations team on Saturday, she rang me to ask if there was anything she could do to help me regarding my complaint and funnily she told me although they knew I had sent in a letter as it had registered on their system, it was not working so therefore she was unable to read it today.

    I gave her a good piece of my mind for wasting my time on a Saturday by firstly leaving me a voicemail to contact vodafone to to discuss the letter and when I did so having no idea what was written on it.

    I read a few extracts from the letter and she told me that I would have to pay the ETF still, but I fought my case and told her to do her not to annoy and waste my time further and call me back on Monday once the letter has been read correctly and to contact me both over the phone and in a written manner.

    I also asked her to escalate a complaint for all advisor’s that I have spoken to since September 2012 who have all equally wasted my time and lied to me both regarding the price increase and also regarding an issue with my tariff before the price increase came in.

    I will keep you updated with the outcome tomorrow.

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      Ask Sophie why Vodafone have only acted on part of your letter and chosen to ignore the overall argument within it, which forms the basis of your rationale.

      It’ll be interesting to hear the outcome of this one…

      • D Evans says:

        They categorically ignore and misinterpret everything written and have no background knowledge of issues. Dumb. I’ve told them that losing Passport will cost me c £160 pa and given them the maths so they end with ‘we haven’t prejudiced you by more than 10%’ line. Dumb. Also spinning me a line about stopping sending me bills as its all about the environment – guess what I do my end then….. PRINT!!!

        Going to ask them to agree to a deadlock in next letter so I can then go to Ombudsman as I don’t have the time to waste like they do.

        • Ninja Hedgehog says:

          I believe that a mobile operator must pay a fee for every time someone goes to OFCOM to complain, so generally, it’s in the mobile operator’s best interests financially to do whatever they can to make their customer happy and not go to the ombudsman.

          Try to haggle a little with Vodafone before it gets to a deadlock; see what you can get for your money.

  23. JD says:

    Had a call from Vodafone as promised by the same advisor, I was told that I would have to pay the ETF as the price increase is not equal or greater than 10%.
    She quoted the RPI percentage but understood my stance and my views in line with the letter that had been sent in.
    I have requested to speak to a manager as I was declined any reduction in my tariff or any sort of free upgrade.

    I don’t know how others have been offered this or even haggled this as I have been refused this point blank.
    Looks like it is dead end for myself.
    The advisor recommended that I pursue my claim with the ombudsman, to which I replied that when I win the case I will expect full reimbursement of the case which will be much greater than the remainder if my contract.

    Not happy at all to be honest, I explained that I had knowledge or contracts of shorter duration than mine being agreed to be cancelled or reductions given in price and upgrades but was given the reply that it all depends on the “circumstances”
    What shall I do tomorrow or day after when the manager calls?

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      Argue the main point in the letter. Tell them that they’ve breached the Terms & Conditions which has effectively terminated the contract. Remember, the price increase is causing you significant distress (or whatever the wording in my letter was) and Vodafone can’t possible deny this because there’s no way to measure significance because everyone has a different interpretation of such a thing.

      I believe that Vodafone have shot themselves in the foot with that part of the Terms & Conditions. I’m not a legal expert, but I believe that in a court of law, you’d win this case f you could demonstrate the significant distress caused to you- in this situation all you have to do is say that you can’t afford the increase and that you’ve been worrying about it.

  24. JD says:

    Manager did not budge at all and did not know how or why or if other customers did cancel, received line rental reductions or a new phone.
    She said she can send a deadlock letter and provide details of the ombudsman.
    So basically I will have to see my contract out it seems.

    On a different matter regarding my tariff I have asked why I was asked to pay more for the Red price plan when it was announced in September this year and misinformed regarding pricing and poor customer services. I will have another call on Monday now.

    Is there anything more that can be done or is that it now?

    • Ninja Hedgehog says:

      Did you ask why Vodafone sent you a PAC as requested in the letter you sent yet ignored the whole “without further charges” bit?

      I’d be interested to know how they missed that…

  25. D Evans says:

    I successfully cancelled the contract without penalty. The loss of Passport would have cost me 700% more in costs on a recent foreign trip. Bonus is that never more do I have to hear that getting ME to print the bill saves the environment!!!

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