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O2 starts charging for calls to non-places

Contract get-out clause activated

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Last week O2 sent notifications to its subscribers informing them that calls to 0845, 0870 and 0800 (non-geographic) numbers would no longer be included in bundled minutes. The company has now admitted that this change to its billing is significant and therefore enables customers to get out of their existing contracts.

O2 was the last mobile company to include such calls in bundled minutes, indeed, many of the newer telecommunications providers view calls to non-geographics as an important revenue stream. Customers signing up to O2 since March already have to pay for such calls outside their bundle but, in common with most phone users, many are unaware of it.

Customers who signed up prior to March should have received notification of the new charges by text message; and they have one month from the receipt of that message to get in touch with O2 if they want to cancel their contract. O2 has told us that such requests will be honoured, but only if received before the end of September.

With O2 to announce its exclusive deal for the iPhone around then, it might seem the ideal time to be renegotiating a contract: though with the iPhone unlikely to have any subsidy, there may not be that much to gain.

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