Vodafone has announced that in future it will charge by the minute rather than the second. It means that the cost of all calls will increase, as the duration is rounded up to the next minute. A report in the Guardian calculated that a 62 second call that currently costs 26p will cost 50p - an increase of 92%.
So what can you do?
The hikeCustomers found out about the changes through a text message driving them to the website. At that point they were given the hard-sell, with the claim that it was a vast improvement because it was 'simpler'. And that "That way, you'll always know exactly how many minutes you have left."
It doesn't spell out that in effect all your calls will be more expensive, and it doesn't highlight that calls that are even one second over a minute will be rounded up to two minutes. Given that these calls come in at 25p a minute, that's a hell of a hike.
ResponseTwitter users have been unimpressed. Jonathon Morris said: "Is this some sort of joke? Now you'll always know you have less minutes left than you should." Martin Francis said: "This is truly disgusting. Both my parents are PAYG & you've just lost them both." And Paul suggests: "Of COURSE Vodafone are going to hike, sorry make small changes to PAYG mobile phone customers. All that back tax has to be generated somehow."
What can you do?The changes will come into effect on 1 August, so you have some time to react.
It's never easy comparing these deals, and the Vodafone changes make it even more difficult. The best deal for you will depend partly on the phone you want - balanced against how many calls you make and the cost of those calls.
However, three recently dropped its tariff for PAYG customers, to 3p for voice calls, 2p per text and 1p per MB of data. It also changed the way the deal works, so your minutes don't expire, and last until the last penny is spent. It means that £10 of credit could cover 100 minutes, 200 texts and 500MB of data. This is only beaten by the sim-only bundled deals from giffgaff or Orange, but these have higher charges if you exceed your allowance.
These deals may or may not suit your specific needs, but it's definitely using this opportunity to see what else is out there that might suit you better.