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Tesco Mobile to Hike the Price of Out-of-Bundle Calls and Texts from February

From 9 February, Tesco Mobile customers will pay more if they make calls or send texts above their monthly allowance or use out-of-bundle services like photo messaging and international calls.

The base price of Tesco Mobile’s pay-monthly contracts and pay-as-you-go (PAYG) bundles won’t change. They’re covered by the operator’s popular ‘Tariff Promise’ that it won’t hike prices mid-contract. That's the pledge that helps the supermarket’s mobile brand consistently top customer satisfaction league tables.

What’s changing is the cost of services outside of your contract: calls and texts above your monthly allowance and international calls and photo messages if they’re not in your package. These changes won’t affect you if you stick to your usage limits but if you accidentally exceed them you might be in for a bill shock.

A spokesperson for the mobile provider said: "We’ve contacted our customers to let them know that the cost of out of bundle services is changing. Customers will only be impacted if they choose to use certain services, such as non-standard calls, or if they exceed their monthly allowance. If not, their standard monthly bill remains the same."

Currently, if as a pay-monthly customer you exceed your monthly minute allowance for calls to UK numbers, you’ll pay 25p per minute, with a minimum charge of 10p. From 9 February, that will rise to 55p/min with a 27p minimum charge. Texts above your monthly usage limit will double in price from 10p/message to 20p/message.

Meanwhile, if photo messages aren’t included in your pay-monthly or PAYG bundle, you’ll pay 55p for each one, up from 25p.

The cost of international calls is also rising, with the per-minute charge for some locations quadrupling. 

Meanwhile, one-off data bundles are also rising in cost by a few pounds. For example, if you want to top up your monthly allowance with an additional 10GB of data, you’ll pay £17, up from £15.

Because the changes don’t apply to the basic contract price you agreed when signing up, you won’t be able to exit the contract without paying a penalty. If you’re concerned about the increased prices, you can set up a “safety buffer” to set a maximum amount you want to pay above your contract each month. 

You can also turn on a “zero bill cap” that prevents you from spending any money above your standard monthly contract. You’ll then have to opt-in to spend more. Safety buffers and the zero bill cap can be set up through your Tesco Mobile account page.

Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith has worked as a journalist and copywriter for most of the last decade, covering technology, energy, and consumer rights, in the US and UK.

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