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Mobile network Three is set to increase roaming charges for its pay-as-you-go customers from 16 February as the company aims to recoup some of its lost revenue in recent months.
Both call and text charges will rise, with some international texts rising from 2p to as much as 35p. Under the new changes, customers will go from being able to send 250 text messages with a £5 top-up – down to just 50.
The cost of making a call is set to increase from 3p to 10p a minute while using data will also rise from 1p to 5p per megabyte, a rise of 400%.
Three said its new rates were still “competitive” and that the increases to international roaming are to keep prices in line with its new standard rates for using your phone at home.
The company, which was one of the major mobile providers that committed to continuing free EU roaming after the end of the Brexit transition period, added that the price hikes were not related to Britain no longer being in the EU.
A Three spokesperson said: “Our new rates remain extremely competitive in the market, and our customers have access to 5G at no extra cost. Plus, we continue to focus on improving the customer experience through investment in our network, to deliver better connectivity every day for every customer.”
The changes only affect Three’s pay-as-you-go customers, who joined the network before March 2020, rather than those on a package or contract deal. Customers can leave pay-as-you-go penalty-free and switch to a cheaper alternative.
It comes as smartphone app WhatsApp postponed a data-sharing change as users voiced concerns about privacy and fled to rivals Telegram and Signal.
The Facebook-owned (FB) messaging service cancelled its 8 February deadline for accepting an update to its terms concerning sharing data with Facebook, saying it aims to clear up misinformation around privacy and security.
“We've heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update,” WhatsApp said in a blog post. “This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook.”
It said it would instead “go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on 15 May.”
Recently, Facebook has come under mounting scrutiny from regulators as it tries to integrate its services.
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