Why is my bill higher than expected?
We know that it’s never pleasant to find out you’ve paid more in your bill than you expected to. Hopefully, we can help you understand why it’s happened, and whether you might need to make some changes to your account.
There’s a few possible reasons why your bill is higher than you expected:
- Your first and last bills.
Your first bill will be higher than your usual expected monthly charge, as you'll be charged for up to 9 days in addition to your normal monthly bill. You can find out more about your first bill here.
Your final bill might also be higher than normal, because it'll also include charges owed up until the day you called to cancel, plus the cost of line rental and usage for the 30-day notice period. Read more about your final bill.
- Price increases mid-contract.
Your bill might have gone up if you’re at the end of a promotional period on your contract. If you’ve taken out a contract with an offer, like ‘6 months half price’, it might be that this promotional period has expired. You can check this using My3.
- Using your phone abroad.
If you make any calls, send any texts, listen to your voicemail, or use data (for example, by sending emails or browsing the internet) when you're abroad, you may be charged for it. This is because when you're in another country you'll be connected to the local network there which is called roaming.
Calling, texting and using data abroad is almost always excluded from your inclusive monthly allowances unless you're in a Feel At Home destination and you have one of our new Advanced plans. All-you-can-eat data also can't be used when you're abroad, again unless you're in a Feel At Home destination and you have a plan compatible with Feel At Home.
To help you manage your roaming costs, we'll text you information about call charges and roaming rates when you're abroad.
Smartphones are permanently connected to the internet so you could use data without realising it. If you use data on your phone when you're abroad, you'll be charged standard roaming rates, We've set up a worldwide data roaming limit of £42.50 per month to stop you spending too much. You can also change the limit on your device by getting in touch. Find out more about managing roaming costs.
If you have a spending cap on your account, remember that this won’t apply to roaming charges, so you’ll need to turn your data roaming off.
Find out more about using your phone abroad here.
- Calling or texting abroad from the UK.
If you've called any international numbers or sent texts to friends who live outside the UK, you'll be charged for them. Calls to anywhere outside of the UK usually have a one minute minimum charge, after which they’re charged by the second.
You can check how much a call or text to specific locations costs here or you can find a full list in our price guide. Calls to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are also charged at international rates.
- Calls and texts not included in your allowance.
Some phone numbers are always excluded from your inclusive monthly allowance, and if you call them you'll be charged over and above your fixed monthly rate, (unless you've blocked them in your My3 account).
- numbers starting with 070 or non-standard 07 numbers which aren't owned by any of the main network operators
- 084* and 087* numbers (usually helpdesk numbers)
- calls to numbers to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, which are charged at international rates
- calls to directory enquiries.
* Unless you’re in a Feel At Home destination with a plan that includes Feel At Home, where there are some exceptions. Find out more about Feel At Home.
Find out more about numbers that aren't included in your allowance and how much they cost, or if you want to control how you use these numbers, find out how to control your spend.
If you’ve been charged for text messages outside of your allowance, this is either because of a shortcode or a multimedia message (MMS). Shortcodes are short phone numbers (3 to 8 digits long) that are used for services like text alerts for football results, texting radio stations and voting for TV shows like 'X-Factor'.
Find out more about shortcodes.
Multimedia messages are messages containing pictures, videos or other media besides text and aren’t covered in standard plans. Multimedia messages cost 40p per message. Find out more about multimedia messaging.
- Your data allowance.
We’ll send you a text or email to let you know when you’ve almost run out of data in your pay monthly allowance. If you continue to use your data you’ll still be able to access the internet, but you’ll be charged for every megabyte of data used. Find out more about your data allowance.
- Sending texts to email addresses, shortcodes or with files attached.
If you’ve sent a text with your new number out to a number of people, you may have included an email address in the ‘To’ field, especially if you’ve synchronised your contacts with a social network like Facebook. Texts sent to email addresses, or with files attached are all treated as picture or video messages by your device. These aren’t included in any text allowance you might have, and will be charged at our standard rates. Find out more about text message charges.
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