Cell phone tariffs – Austrian Chamber of Labor warns new price increases in April

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The Chamber of Labor (AK) warns of rising prices for basic fees for existing mobile phone contracts in April. The reason for this is the value protection clauses, which are set to take effect again. “An increase of around eight percent can be expected,” writes the AK on Wednesday. At the same time, however, making calls and, above all, surfing on cell phones have become cheaper in recent years. This is mainly due to the fact that new tariffs offer higher data volumes for the same basic charges.
Not all providers have value-protection clauses in their contracts. According to AK, ten providers have numerous tariffs with value protection clauses, while 16 do not yet have them. In addition, several mobile tariff providers, such as HoT and Spusu, have already announced that they do not intend to make any inflation adjustments this year.

In order to avoid frequent price increases, the Chamber of Labor advises switching to a contract without such an inflation adjustment clause. When switching providers, you should compare several tariffs and know your consumption well. The AK also points out that there is no free special right of termination if a provider’s price increase is based on a value adjustment or index clause that is based on inflation. Furthermore, there is only a legal right to keep one’s telephone number in the event of a “genuine” change of provider and not, for example, if one merely switches to a discount brand of the same provider.
In general, however, phone calls and surfing became cheaper between February 2020 and 2024. This is shown by a price analysis of 26 cell phone providers. “The main reason: all providers have new tariffs with more extensive data allowances and often unchanged basic charges,” writes the AK. On average, users’ data consumption has doubled over the past four years, while there have been hardly any changes in terms of calling and texting.
For the largest providers A1, Magenta and Drei, however, it is noticeable that although the included data volumes and maximum available bandwidths have increased, the costs for the cheapest tariffs in 2024 are significantly higher than the cheapest tariffs in 2020. In contrast, the three major providers have no longer charged flat-rate service fees since February 2024, and in some cases, the activation costs have also been significantly reduced or eliminated.

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