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Three to hike the cost of out-of-bundle calls and texts and some pay-as-you-go services from July

Three to hike the cost of out-of-bundle calls and texts and some pay-as-you-go services from July

Three mobile customers who make calls or send text messages outside of their standard allowance will see prices hiked from 1 July. Some pay-as-you-go costs are also rising. But mobile users who regularly use these services can cancel contracts penalty-free as a result. 

Most customers will only notice these increased costs if they exceed their pay monthly or SIM-only allowance, or if they use a service that's not included in their package – it won't impact the price of their monthly recurring contract. Services rising include the cost of standard calls and international texts.

Some of the changes also apply to pay-as-you-go (PAYG) customers, who will see prices rise on services such as texts sent to standard and premium 'shortcodes', which are often used by viewers to vote during TV shows.  

If you’re unhappy about the price rises and you're out of contract or on a pay-as-you-go deal, use our Cheap Mobile Finder tool to find the best deal for you or haggle with Three to see if it'll match or beat a deal you've found elsewhere. See our Haggling with Service Providers guide for further info.

Prices set to rise for out-of-bundle services, including calls and texts

Below is the full list of price changes that will take force from 1 July for pay-monthly and Sim only customers:  

  • Calls to standard UK landlines starting 01, 02 or 03 (excluding calls to the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands), calls to UK mobiles, and calls to Three voicemail will rise from 55p/min to 65p/min. 
     
  • Multimedia messages will increase from 55p/message to 65p/message. 

  • International calls from the UK to non-EU countries will rise from £1.75/min to £2.75/min. 

  • International calls to special numbers (such as calls to international premium rate numbers) from the UK will increase from 19p/min to £2.75/min. 

  • International texts and multimedia messages sent from the UK will increase from 35p/message to 65p/message. 

  • SMS standard shortcodes will cost 15p/message, up from 10p/message. 

  • SMS premium shortcodes will cost 15p/message (plus a charge set by the company the customer is texting, if applicable) – up from 10p/message. 

  • Video calls will cost 65p/min, up from 51.1p/min. 

  • Three's access charge to call numbers starting 084, 087, 118, and 09 will increase from 55p/min to 65p/min, plus the service charge set by the company the customer is calling. 

  • The cost of paper bills will increase to £2.50/mth from £1.50/mth. 

Price of texts to shortcodes will rise for PAYG customers too 

Below is the full list of price changes that will take force from 1 July for PAYG customers:  

  • SMS standard shortcodes will cost 15p/message, up from 10p/message. 

  • SMS premium shortcodes will cost 15p/message (plus a charge set by the company the customer is texting, if applicable) – up from 10p/message. 
  • International calls to special numbers (such as calls to international premium rate numbers) from the UK: will increase from 19p/min to £2.75/min. 

It comes after Three upped the price of calls, texts and data for PAYG customers in February, while pay monthly and Sim only customers saw monthly contract prices rise by up to 4.5% from April. 

Some customers can leave penalty-free as a result

Three says it has contacted a "small number" of customers who use these services regularly to let them know they can leave their contract without a cancellation fee if they are impacted by the changes.  

Three, which according to its website currently serves around 9.7 million active UK customers, told us it had looked at customers' past usage to determine if they were a regular user of any of the services subject to the price hike, and whether that increase was likely to have a material impact on their bill. It wouldn't confirm exactly how many customers are impacted though, or how many can cancel penalty-free as a result.

If you've not been contacted by Three you won't be able to leave your contract penalty-free unless you're outside of your minimum contract term.

If you can leave penalty-free and you regularly use out-of-bundle services, you may be better off changing your plan to include more calls or texts. Use our Cheap Mobile Finder tool to find the best deal for you. Or, if you make lots of international calls, check our Cheap UK and International Calls guide to see if you can do it more cheaply.

What does Three say?

A spokesperson for Three UK said: "Like many mobile providers, from time to time we have to review and revise our pricing. This increase reflects our continued commitment to invest in our network and improve customer experience and provide better connectivity every day for every customer."

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