If you exceed your inclusive monthly allowance of texts, calls and data you’ll be charged what are known as out of bundle rates. These can include phoning numbers that your allowance doesn’t cover and sending picture messages (MMS). We review thousands of mobile bills every month, and we’re regularly giving advice on how to reduce mobile costs. Here’s the top 5 additional charges on a typical business mobile bill and some simple advice on how to avoid them.
Text messages will sometimes be converted to multimedia messages (MMS). This can happen when:
- Your message includes an emoticon or emoji
- Your message is sent to an email address instead of a phone number
- You’re sending a group text message
- Your text exceeds the character limit; different for different phones
- Your message has a subject line
Most tariffs don’t include MMS so try using WhatsApp or Facebook messenger. These apps use Wifi or 4G data. Our blog on MMS and emojis should help explain it in more detail – Warning: Emojis Could Be Costing You £££s
Directory Enquiry Calls
Calls to 118 118 (the most commonly used directory enquiry number) cost £4.49 per call plus £4.49 per minute (minimum 60 second charge applies). So, that’s a minimum of £8.98 for a single call.
Use your inclusive data and try Google first. If your 3G/4G signal is poor and you can’t access the internet, then try 0800 118 3733, a free alternative. And remember, whatever service you use, never allow the operator to transfer you, simply dial the number from the free text.
Non-geographic calls are typically those made to prefixes 05, 08 and 09 and tend to range in cost.
The website SayNoTo0870 provides a list of alternative 01/02/03 numbers or free 0800 and 0808 numbers that can be used instead.
Internet & Data Overages
If you’re using the internet, sending emails or browsing social media on the go and don’t have Wifi access, you’re using data. Once you have used your inclusive data allowance you’re charged out of bundle rates by the network. Out of bundle data typically costs around £25/GB depending on the network.
To reduce the data usage on your mobile each month:
- Use WIFI as much as possible for streaming movies, playing music etc
- Ensure Apps are closed down and are not running in the background
- Check that Wifi Assist is switched off on the phone
For larger mobile estates, definitely consider moving to a shared pool of monthly data.
Premium Rate Services & Text-In Competitions
Premium rate services tend to be 4,5 or 6 digit numbers you can call or text – like entering a TV competition, voting on a TV show or automatic alerts like football scores.
If there are premium rate texts charges on your mobile phone bill, you can use the Phone-paid Service Authority to establish what they are. The service will advise you of the company responsible for the charges and how to stop them.