Finance expert Martin Lewis has issued advice to all mobile phone users to help save money on bills before price hikes in April.
The money-saving guru has warned that average phone costs are due to go up by as much as 17 per cent, and can hit even those who are in the middle of their contract.
Mr Lewis issued five steps to help cut costs during a special one-off program filmed in Liverpool, including two texts users should send sooner rather than later.
“First text INFO on 85075 on your current phone, it’s free to do, to find out if you’re out of contract and free to leave,” he said.
Mr Lewis also advised mobile phone users how to switch to lower-priced networks that use the same signals as the so-called better providers. He suggested users should get cheap SIM-only deals via price comparison websites rather than go directly to providers as you can often get cheaper deals.
The Money Saving Expert explained that O2, EE, Vodafone and Three are the only mobile phone networks in the UK – and all the rest such as Sky just use another provider’s signal.
He said 5G or wi-fi calling may not be offered on lower-priced networks. However, if you get a signal on the parent network, you’ll get a signal in your home on the cheap network that uses its signal.
Mr Lewis said mobile phone users should text “PAC” to 65075 to get their PAC code, which allows you to move your phone number to another mobile network.
The finance expert ended by telling customers, in order to get a cheaper deal, they should ask to cancel when negotiating and get put through to customer retentions.
Mr Lewis said if customers are unable to get a cheaper deal with the provider, they should employ the “wife trick”.
He said: “If they say to you ‘I’m sorry we will disconnect you, you say’ I just need to check that with my husband, wife or parrot.”
According to Mr Lewis, this will allow you time to decide whether you want to cancel and time to check out other deals you can get elsewhere.
Consumers were warned of the increases in January.
Providers often link their annual price rises to January’s consumer price index (CPI) or the retail price index (RPI).
BT, EE, Plusnet and Vodafone broadband contracts allowed prices to go up by CPI plus 3.9%. At TalkTalk, it was CPI plus 3.7%, while Shell Energy could add CPI plus 3%.
Sky and Virgin Media contracts allow mid-contract price increases but they do not stipulate a pricing formula in the same way as rivals.
BT previously confirmed an increase this year of 14.4 % – CPI of 10.5% plus 3.9%.