Nearly 20 million Vodafone pay-as-you-go customers are paying more for phone calls from today, as the mobile giant has begun charging users per minute, rather than per second for calls.

Previously, all calls made to UK mobile numbers and landlines (starting 01, 02 or 03) as well as calls to international numbers and voicemail were charged per second.

But from today, charging for these calls will be rounded up to the nearest minute.

This means a phone call lasting two minutes and one second will be rounded up to three minutes, with users being charged for the unused 59 seconds.

With calls to UK mobiles costing 25p per minute, this means a two minute, one second call would jump from 50p to 75p.

Pay-as-you-go customers who buy one of Vodafone's add-on Freebee packages also now have their inclusive minutes rounded up to the nearest minute.

Vodafone says the change means customers will "always know exactly how many minutes you have left". It adds that it has made the change because the cost of providing services has risen.

Pay-monthly customers will continue to be charged by the second, with a one-minute minimum charge.

How much do calls cost?

Pay-as-you-go customers on Vodafone's current price plan pay the following for calls:

  • Calls to national, local (starting 01, 02, 03) and mobile numbers (both Vodafone and other networks): 25p per minute.
  • Calls to Channel Islands and Isle of Man mobiles or landlines (starting 01481, 01534 or 01624): 36p per minute.
  • International calls: Europe, 28p a minute; Asia Pacific, 80p a minute; USA and Canada, £1.35 a minute; rest of the world: £1.65 per minute.

A spokeswoman for Vodafone says: "Many of our competitors already offer price plans charged in this way.

"We believe that by offering propositions with a generous allowance of minutes [Freebee packages], we continue to offer our customers great value."