Three is set to bring back mid–contract price increases, after changing the terms and conditions of its monthly deals. Anyone who has signed a contract after May 29th will be subject to an annual price increase linked to retail price index (RPI) inflation.
Under Ofcom regulations aimed at minimising the impact on customers of mid-contract price rises, as long as networks state in their terms that they plan to increase prices in line with inflation they are legally able to do so.
Three's move is, however, likely to cause consternation among customers.
Not least because when the caveat in Ofcom's regulations was revealed, Three made it clear it was committed to ensuring prices stayed static throughout the entire duration of a contract.
With O2 and EE already using the regulator's legal workaround, only Vodafone now keeps prices the same for an entire term.
Three is yet to offer comment. But after facing down previous controversy surrounding the capping of data tethering from its devices, it’s likely to face opprobrium in the coming days.
And with Three’s multi–billion pound takeover of O2 moving apace, this could be a look at what consumers can expect in the months and years ahead as consolidation fever grips the telecoms sector.