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Tips to avoid unexpected charges on your bill

Level 94: Supreme
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There is nothing worse than finding yourself with a bill which is higher than expected.

This guide will show you ways to avoid this wherever possible.

Listed below are some of the ways to help limit expenditure. They will be discussed in greater detail throughout the guide.





(Only applicable if you have taken out a contract since Oct 1st 2018)

You can now choose to apply a Spend Cap with your monthly tariff, to help control your spend on out-of-bundle charges. Any chargeable usage outside your monthly allowance or outside of any Bolt On allowance will count towards your Spend Cap.


▶ More info here - SPEND CAPS




*Going over your monthly allowances of texts and minutes is the most common reason for a high bill

*Making calls, sending texts or using data outside of our Europe Zone

*Using your phone to make a purchase, such as buying wifi on train

*Making calls to non-geographical or premium rate phone numbers

*Calling a directory enquiry service.

*Sending texts to premium rate services, such as voting in a TV competition

(You can contact customer services and ask them to place a Premium Bar on your account. This will stop calls to premium rate numbers, 090, 070 etc).




CHARGE TO MOBILE (Restrict Usage)


Charge to Mobile is a way of buying digital content. If you are Pay Monthly the charge will go on your bill. If Pay As You Go, the money will be taken out of your credit.


If you want to avoid these charges completely, you need to call Customer services and ask them to apply a bar to CHARGE TO MOBILE. Just remember if you do want to use the service in future you will have to ask for the bar to be lifted.


▶ More Info here - CHARGE TO MOBILE 

▶ Community Guide here: CHARGE TO MOBILE & PREMIUM SMS (GUIDE)




Sending a simple text (SMS) can easily cost more if it converts to MMS.

An emoticon/emoji is a smiley face 🙂 , a thumbs up 👍, a heart ❤️ or any other tiny picture that many people like to add to their SMS messages.


Adding an emoticon by itself won’t, in many cases, force the message into MMS format, but, what it will do, is eat up your character count.

A simple smiley face or wink will use 90 characters.

With this in mind it is easy to see how just by adding 3 emoticons actually reduces your character count to only 210 letters (that’s not much!)

You can avoid this by inserting a smiley using keyboard characters rather than hitting the emoticon key and choosing a picture. A smile can be written as : ) or a wink as ; ) 

If possible turn character count on within your phone's settings when composing a text.


▶ More Info here -  AVOID MMS




Wherever possible turn Mobile Data off and use Wifi.

There are apps you can use which enable you to keep in touch with family and friends over Wifi.

Messenger and Whatsapp are just two of these. They also save on your call and text minutes.

Important to remember the people you want to contact MUST have these apps installed.

* Another important point: If you want to use emoticons or gifs etc, these are free when you use WiFi apps.

These apps can be used on Android, Iphones and Windows phones. Also available for use on PC's


You can also use free WiFi in many bars, cafes and restaurants etc.


▶ More Info here -  MESSENGER  - WHATSAPP


**Using Wifi when abroad (outside of the EU) will certainly reduce any charges you may incur.


There is an additional guide on making better use of mobile data.


▶ More info here - MOBILE DATA




Many people find themselves inadvertantly signed up to a payforit scam. These sites are numerous and people will find themselves incurring a monthly charge for something they neither want or need.


The most common reason for this happening is when you click on a link on FB or other social media site and are redirected to another payforit site. (The forum already has a guide giving a full explanation about these sort of scams. It will be linked to below)


To avoid this happening, do NOT click on links if you are unsure as to where they will take you.

As an added safety precaution, ask customer services to place a DIRECT TO ALL BILL DEBITS BAR on your account. This will ensure no money is taken from your account.


If you are unlucky enough to find yourself a victim of one of these scams, then please take a look at this community guide and website which gives information on what to do next.

EDIT: From 11th May 2019, O2 and partners have introduced a 2 step verification process to avoid customers signing up inadvertently to these scams. Also, this will include a pin sent to your device or a text, which you will need to respond to before any payment is taken. 



▶ More Info here - CHARGE TO MOBILE

▶ More Info here - PAYFORIT




There is rarely any need to pay for apps you want to use. Look for free apps.

All available via Google Play (Android), App Store (Apple), Windows Phone Store (Windows)


▶ More Info here - GOOGLE PLAY

▶ More Info here - APP STORE

▶ More Info here - WINDOWS APPS




Calling abroad from the UK is NOT free.

It is classed as an International call or text and you will be charged.


▶ More Info here -  CALLING ABROAD FROM UK




There is a massive amount of advice on the forum about Travel Abroad, so this guide will simply make reference to it and provide links to relevant guides and sites.


Most important things to remember....

  • If travelling abroad and within the EU zone, you can use your allowances as if you were in the UK.
  • Wherever you travel to, try and make use of WiFi whenever you can.
  • If outside of the EU, make sure you turn voicemail off before you travel. (You will be charged twice if you leave it on and then answer the voicemail)
  • If travelling outside the EU you can make use of O2 Travel (shown below)
  • Certain tariffs will allow you to use O2 Travel Exclusive (shown below)
  • Some regions abroad do not allow either O2 Travel or Travel Exclusive so you will be liable for International roaming rates


▶ More Info here - TRAVEL IN EUROPE

▶ More Info here - O2 TRAVEL

▶ More Info here - O2 TRAVEL INCLUSIVE

More Info here - O2 INTERNATIONAL