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O2 to hike the cost of out-of-bundle services, calls and texts from August

O2 to hike the cost of out-of-bundle services, calls and texts from August

O2 mobile customers who send text messages outside of their standard allowance will see prices hiked from 2 August. The cost of calling service numbers is also set to increase. Some affected customers may be able to leave penalty-free as a result though - we've full details below. 

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. O2 wouldn't confirm how many customers this affects but it has around 36million UK customers in total. Pay-as-you-go customers are unaffected. 

If you’re unhappy about the price rises or you simply want to get a new deal, use our Cheap Mobile Finder tool to find the best tariff for you or haggle with O2 to see if it'll match or beat a deal you've found elsewhere if you want to stay. See our Haggling with Service Providers guide for further info.

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

Below is the full list of price changes that will take force from 2 August for pay-monthly and Sim-only customers:

  • The price of standard UK texts will increase from 15p/message to 30p/message.
  • Access charges to 0870, 0845, 09 and 118 numbers will increase from 55p/minute to 65p/minute. 
  • Calls to 076 numbers will increase from 55p/minute to 65p/minute, while calls to 05 numbers will decrease from 55p/minute to 35p/minute.
  • The cost of a summary paper bill will increase from £1 to £2 - these are only sent on request though, as bills are sent out to customers via email as standard. 
  • The cost of an itemised paper bill will increase from £1.50 to £2.50 - again, these are only issued on request, not as standard.
  • The charge for late payment of your bill will increase from £3.50 to £6. 

In addition, O2 is changing its monthly roaming limits when you use your data allowance in its 'Europe Zone', which includes 48 countries across Europe. From 2 August, if your UK monthly data allowance is over 25GB, you'll be given a fair use roaming limit of 25GB - currently there is no limit. If you've an unlimited plan, the current 25GB fair use limit will continue to apply. If your allowance is for less than 25GB, there's no limit.

In similar news, Three cut its fair usage limit in Europe from 1 July from 20GB to 12GB, while EE is introducing a flat £2/day roaming fee in Europe for new and renewing customers from January 2022.  

Some O2 customers may be able to cancel penalty-free

O2 says some customers will be given the right to cancel their contract penalty-free as a result of the changes. It wouldn't clarify exactly which customers this impacts only saying it will contact those affected, although this tends to be those who regularly use out of bundle charges and will end up paying significantly more as a result.

HOWEVER, if you do choose to leave you will need to repay the cost of your phone in full if you're on a plan that includes the device cost - so bear this in mind before making a rash decision.

If you're unhappy about the changes you can also get in touch with O2 to discuss your options by calling 0344 809 0202 or visiting its website. If you submit a complaint and O2 doesn't come back to you within six weeks or you're unhappy with the response you do get, you can take your complaint to the Ombudsman Services (or to the Financial Ombudsman if your complaint is about your device plan).  

Of course, if you regularly use out-of-bundle services, you may be better off changing your plan to include more calls or texts - and if you're out of contract you can leave penalty free at any point anyway and your contract will be cancelled 30 days from your request to leave.

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 O2 say?

A spokesperson for O2 said: “After reviewing our out of bundle and additional services pricing, we’re writing to customers to advise that the cost of some optional extras is changing. Customers will only be impacted if they choose to use these services - their existing tariff, and any Bolt-On or personal allowance, remains the same.”

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