Mobile and internet tariff prices are set to rise in France in 2023, including for customers with Orange and Bouygues Telecom.
The telephone and internet operators have blamed rising costs, such as fuel, energy, and raw materials, for the price hikes.
€1-2 increase for Orange
Prices will increase by €1 per month for mobile alone and €2 per month if the subscription includes a mobile package and internet box.
The increase will come into force in March 2023 for three million customers and in April 2023 for 12.5 million others. That is more than 15 million customers in total, on tariffs ranging from €2.99 to €71.99 per month.
The price will rise by €1 for Orange mobile packages and mobile packages for Open customers), Orange Internet fibre, Sosh mobile, and Sosh Internet. It will rise by €2 for Open and Orange Internet xDSL subscribers.
However, any customers who have subscribed to 24-month mobile phone contracts or a Let's Go offer, as well as very recent subscribers, will not see a price rise.
€1-3 increase for Bouygues
Bouygues Telecom will increase mobile and fixed-line rates by €1-3 per month.
For example, its entry-level internet offer, Bbox fit, will rise by €2 to €17.99 per month in the first year, while B&You plans, at €4.99 per month, will cost €3 more.
These increases will take effect from the end of January 2023.
Less than €1 for SFR
SFR will increase most of its fixed, Internet, and mobile offers from January 2023, for customers paying between €3 and €65 per month. However, the increase will be between just €0.69 and €0.99 per month.
No rise for Free
Free is the only operator that has not announced plans for a price rise next year.
A Free spokesperson told Le Parisien: “We have made a commitment not to touch the price of these packages for the next five years and we are the only operator not to increase the price of our packages.”
What if I want to cancel my contract due to price rises?
You can do so.
Legally, operators are within their rights to raise these prices, even if you are already signed up to a contract.
Article L.244-33 of the French Consumer Code stipulates that providers of electronic communications services may increase their rates, as long as they give the customer at least one month’s advance notice.
However, the law also states that consumers then have four months from the notification of the change to terminate their contract without charge or penalty. As a result, you can contact your operator and ask for a fee-free cancellation as a result of the increased price, no matter what the cancellation terms were before.
If the operator does not respect this rule, the customer has the right to contest the new tariff.
Rise and rise
The new price rises come after it was reported that some mobile phone bills had risen by up to 120% in France in the past year.
Networks Bouygues Telecom, SFR, and Orange reportedly raised their tariffs over the summer with new ‘gifts’, even if clients had not asked for them.
Many of these tariffs or contracts (called ‘forfaits’ in French) were previously among the least profitable for the companies, and they have raised their cost in real terms, by adding ‘gifts’ and ‘exclusive offers’ to packages to enable the companies to charge more.
For example, these ‘gifts’ included extra GB of data or an ability to use the faster 5G network.