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Vodafone, Three, O2 and EE customers issued £516 Martin Lewis warning | Personal Finance | Finance

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Customers of major mobile networks including Three, O2, Vodafone and EE are being urged to save money after widespread price rises this spring.

Every major network has increased prices, with average hikes hitting 8 percent linked to the Consumer Price Index’s inflation rate, usually with the base CPI number and another few percent margin added on top.

But one savvy mobile customer managed to slash £516 off their annual phone bill with one check.

Martin Lewis, on his The Martin Lewis Podcast for the BBC, heard from a caller who had managed to cut his mobile bill from £52 a month to just £9 a month.

He ditched his pricey contract and instead opted for a SIM-only deal. This is when you pay only for a SIM card and the texts, minutes and data included on the package each month, and you don’t get a ‘free’ handset bundled in.

The network simply sends you a SIM card and you pay per month. If you already have a phone, you can just stick the SIM card in your current handset. If you don’t, it’s usually much cheaper to buy a phone outright and then stick the SIM-only SIM card inside – although you need some cash up front to buy the handset.

This method only works if you’re not currently tied into a contract period (usually the first 12, 18 or 24 months of your current deal), but Martin Lewis advises that there are as many as 20 million people out of contract right now who could save big.

Martin heard from one caller who told him: “I managed to get my phone bill down from £52 a month to SIM-only for £9.”

The best way to find a deal is simply go to a price comparison website, because these have extra marketing spend from companies to allow them to cut their prices more deeply, Martin added.

Sometimes your current provider will even offer to match the deal you’ve found so you don’t even have to change in the end.

Martin then added: “And there are 20 million people out of contract, therefore free to move. For tens of millions of people in the UK, you’re paying too much for your broadband and it’s not fast enough, you’re paying too much on your mobile and you’re not getting enough data. That’s what I want to sort today.

“First step check if you’re one of 14 million out of contract and text INFO for free to 85075, it’s an Ofcom regulated scheme and firms must reply telling you if you’re out of contract.

“A few firms will then say they want your birthday to validate it, that’s cool, that’s part of it, that’s allowed. For some people who have multiple handsets on one contract it can’t be done.

“Second step, if you’re over roughly £8 a month, unless you’ve got high roaming costs or you’re paying off your handset, why. You can get 100GB a month SIM now for £8 a month, 50GB for £6 a month, so you need to look at can I do it much much cheaper, quicker and easier.

“The best deals tend to be short lived deals on price comparison websites.”

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