Austria: Mobile phone and internet access will be up to eight percent more expensive in April

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The Consumer Price Index (CPI) comes around every year. Next month, the average price increase for everyday products will also impact numerous mobile and internet tariffs. In 2023, increases of up to 8.6% were recorded. According to current calculations by Statistics Austria, increases of up to 7.8% are expected this year.
With a contract tariff or another “value-secured” offer of 20 euros, as is often the case with mobile telephony, an increase of this value would correspond to an increase of 1.56 euros per month or 18.72 euros per year. At EUR 50, which roughly corresponds to the price level of faster broadband Internet via cable or fiber optics, the additional burden on the wallet adds up to EUR 3.90 per month or EUR 46.80 per year.

47 percent of tariffs with value adjustment
According to Tarife.at, almost half (47%) of all tariffs with a monthly basic fee that can be concluded in Austria include such an index adjustment. This means that the increase is automatic for customers, although the provider must still inform them in advance. When searching for offers, the portal also allows displaying only those without value protection.

According to Michael Krammer, CEO of Ventocom, as many as 70 percent of users are affected, as providers have integrated the value protection clauses primarily in the widespread contract tariffs and less in value card tariffs. “And only 30 percent know that they have an index clause,” says Krammer to STANDARD. In times of low inflation, this issue is also less relevant. Now, families with multiple tariffs could face significant additional costs.

Can you cancel your contract?
Rates without a value protection clause are not affected. If there is an increase on the provider’s part due to the index adjustment, customers can exercise a special right of termination. This means they can terminate their contract on the effective date of the price increase, even if the commitment period is still running. If tariffs without a contract commitment are affected, these can also be terminated. Otherwise, there is no extraordinary right of termination.

Spusu and Hot keep mobile phone prices the same
One provider has already commented on the approaching CPI cut-off date, namely Spusu. According to Managing Director Franz Pichler, no increase in monthly charges for cell phone tariffs or mobile broadband is planned. The provider, which partly uses its network but provides most of its services via the Drei network, claims to have over 600,000 customers in this segment. However, the situation is different for landline services. If the infrastructure partners themselves make a CPI adjustment, Spusu also passes this on to its DSL, cable, and fiber optic customers.

The providers usually justify the higher tariffs by saying their costs rise due to inflation. Krammer qualifies this argument in an interview with the Standard: Mobile telephony is not a “new” phenomenon, so calls to call centers are decreasing, and thus, the costs here are falling, compensating for the wage increases. In addition, 5G consumes less power than the previous 4G technology and offers the possibility of simultaneously serving more customers thanks to its higher performance, reducing costs.

  • source: derstandard.at/picture: pixabay.com
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