Check your telecoms bill for sneaky price rise

Woman in grey top using iPhone
Customers should check their telecoms bills for surprise price increases

Consumer group criticises Orange, SFR and Bouygues for quietly increasing tariffs over summer

Telecoms companies such as Orange, SFR and Bouygues have been accused by a consumer group of quietly increasing their tariffs over the summer.

UFC-Que Choisir said that customers of the three major operators should check any emails or letters from the companies as prices had risen by as much as €5 a month.

SFR told clients they were being switched to its new Privilège option in a letter titled “Smile, you’ve been upgraded” which highlighted the new TV channels available and unlimited calls but kept the bad news on the €3-€5 extra cost at the bottom.

Vital information that clients had to opt out of the new service or be deemed to have agreed was only in the small print – and UFC-Que Choisir said clients found it next to impossible to opt out as the process was too complicated.

People subscribing to SFR’s low-cost Red contracts fared little better as the cost has been raised by €1 or €2 per month while the email telling customers concentrated on the extra data allowance being given.

Bouygues is making customers pay a rental fee for their BBox Miami – an extra €3 a month when the rental was previously included in the monthly cost.

Orange, the largest operator, has increased the price of its Découverte Internet contract from €21 to €24.99 while at the same time raising the price of its mobile Mini contract from €14.99 to €16.99.

However, at the same time, Orange has improved its offer for customers on its low-cost subsidiary Sosh by giving subscribers to its €24.99 contract unlimited calls from France to European landlines.

UFC-Que Choisir reminds customers that changes in tariffs give them the right to cancel their contracts without cost in the four months following the change – although some operators will allow customers to remain on their old contract and cost.

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