Bill shock in the billions

Staff Reporter
May 3, 2023


  • Households say average monthly bills for broadband bundles have increased by £18.50[1] and mobile phone bills by £9.50[2]following April’s price increases

  • Despite these bill shocks, 12 million broadband (27%) and 11 million mobile (22%) customers still do not know when their contracts end and risk overpaying[3]

  • Having too many bills to keep on top of (16%) and finding it hard to keep on top of life admin (15%) are the top reasons for not knowing a contract end date[4]

  • Over five million rely on reminders from their provider to secure a new deal[5]

  • Experts at urge consumers to find out their switch day and sign up for reminders to avoid paying more than needed 

Monthly broadband bills have increased on average by £18.50[1] and mobile phone payments by £9.50[2] following April’s inflation-busting price rises, according to new research from, the comparison and switching service.

With 27 million[6] home broadband connections and over 60 million[7] pay-monthly subscriptions across the UK, the scale of these increases is generating billions in additional revenues for providers, while budget-conscious Brits have suffered eye-watering increases to household bills.

With bill-shock blues sweeping the nation, over a quarter (28%) of Brits are ‘angry’ about the rising bills and over a fifth feeling worried (21%).[8] 

Most broadband and mobile providers include in their T&Cs that they can increase your monthly bill by a certain amount each year. Uswitchbelieves providers who impose mid-contract price rises should allow customers to leave their contract early without penalty, or offer contracts where the price remains fixed for the duration. 

The research also uncovered over five million bill-payers rely on reminders from their provider to switch to a new deal, while nearly one in five (19%) admit they simply wait for their contract to automatically renew onto a new uncompetitive tariff.[5]  

The top reasons time-poor Brits admit to not knowing when their contracts are up for renewal include too many bills or contracts to keep on top of (16%), not being good at keeping track of dates (15%) and finding it difficult to keep on top of life admin (15%) [4] 

To avoid falling out of contract and paying a much higher rate, Uswitch advises customers to identify their ‘switch day’ – which for many will be 30 days before their contract end date – as many will be subject to a 30-day notice period to switch away from their existing provider.

Customers who sign up to can sign up to receive helpful reminders when their broadband and mobile phone contracts are up for renewal. 

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at, comments: 

In a cost of living crisis, broadband and mobile customers don’t simply have to accept monthly bills going up by £18.50 and £9.50 to stay connected.

If you’re out of contract, you don’t have to accept any of these price rises. Not only can you switch to a potentially faster and more suitable plan right away, you could also pay less per month.

If you’re still mid-contract, it’s really important to know when your contract is coming to an end. Not only can you avoid overpaying, you can also plan ahead, shop around and avoid getting sucked in by the promise of an upgrade from your existing providers. There’s often  better value elsewhere as a new customer. 

If you are happy with your current provider, it’s still worth doing your research and comparing the latest deals. There’s often room for negotiation – and significant potential savings – if you’re satisfied with their service.”


Ernest Doku’s tips to avoid overpaying on your mobile and broadband bills: 

  • If you are mid-contract: Check when you are eligible to switch and if there are any charges associated with switching. Even if there is a charge to switch, this may still offer you a saving in the long term

  • Forget-Me-Not: Sign up for an account at and you can set a reminder when your contract ends, so you don’t overpay in future. You’ll also be fully clued-up on the market when you are able to switch to a new deal

  • Check if you’re eligible for social tariffs: If you’re in receipt of certain state benefits you may be eligible to sign up for social tariffs, designed to ensure everyone has access to modern day utilities such as broadband. Major providers such as EE, Virgin and Vodafone offer connectivity from £12.00 with no set-up fees – and no mid-contract price increases. 

 Tips for mobile customers:

  • Consider your mobile data usage: If you regularly have data left over at the end of the month, consider reducing the data in your plan to save money. You can check this by signing into your account by visiting your network’s website, or customer account app on your phone

  • Text 85075: Check how much it would cost to leave your current contract by texting INFO to 85075. You will receive a text message confirming if you have to pay exit fees to leave your provider

  • Out of contract? Try SIM-only: Mobile customers who are out of contract and happy with their existing handset can save up to £335 a year by moving to a SIM-only deal

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