Orange and Vodafone are going to start charging more for their Pay-As-You-Go services, thanks to a ruling from regulatory body Ofcom, Moneywise reports.
If you're on Orange, expect to start paying 25p per minute for your calls, starting tomorrow. Vodafone customers will be smacked with a hike in the minimum call charge from 15 to 25 pence on some contracts, and call costs will move from 21 to 25p per minute.
Text messages will now cost 12p rather than 10p -- news that will surely dismay avid texters. The changes to Vodafone rates will take effect on 14 July.
The reason is that Ofcom has recently decreased the amount networks can charge each other for phone calls. The lowering of this charge, known as the mobile termination rate, means networks have decided to make up the extra cash elsewhere. And guess who's footing the bill? You are! Hooray!
Both Orange and Vodafone have blamed Ofcom for their price hikes. A Vodafone spokeperson stated, "During our discussions with Ofcom over mobile termination rates, we stressed that if the rates came down rapidly and dramatically, the cost of pay as you go was likely to rise as a consequence."
Ofcom on the other hand defends the changes in regulation, saying that when it cut termination rates it, "did so in a way that would increase choice for consumers and lead to cheaper landline calls."
Anyone who's seeing a jump in their mobile spending is unlikely to care about finger pointing though, and it's a shame that the dispute has resulted in higher call costs. We'd suggest never using the network, relying on email andto send your missives. That'll learn 'em.
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