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Mobile Phone - High Bills

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naomi24 | 09:14 Thu 26th May 2016 | Technology
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My friend is getting large bills for her mobile phone usage. She is with EE. Her bills says "10GB data unlimited mins and texts", but what does that actually mean in terms of free texts and phone calls? Sorry if the question is a bit vague - I'm not very technical - but I suspect she's using far more than her free allowance.


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Free calls are only to other mobiles. If she is ringing landlines it will be expensive.
Also, texts are only free for standard texts. If she enters competitions by text there is usually a charge too
Without looking at the contract I'd say it meant all calls and texts for the month is included in the regular payment.

O course these companies fail to be honest and usually stipulate an "unfair limit" or as they call it "fair use" policy in order to ignore their "unlimited" claim.

You need her to read her contract.
True, texts can cease to be simply text, but data if you include pictures as well, such as smiley face pictures, But I'd have thought that would be part of the 10 Gigabytes data allowance.
I think it's more likely her internet usage that's using up the data allowance- although 10GB does sound a lot unless she streams films or similar
I have already pointed out on this forum that ''Smart Phones'' have a lot to answer for. It of course matters how much one uses the device but remember that the 'phone is always searching for a signal wherever you are & costing you money.
Yes, you need to turn off mobile data when you don't need access the internet or download updates to loads of apps.
I have a similar package with EE - unless you stream films it's virtually impossible to use up 10GB of data in a month.

The calls include ones to mobiles and landlines, so that's not the problem.

The most likely suspects dor a big bill are :

1. Picture messages - these are not included in the free texts - even putting a smiley in a text can turn it into a picture message - she should turn off "picture messaging" in her phonesettings to stop this.

2. Calls to any numbers starting 08 (except 0800) - these are ruinously expensive - 0844 and 0870 are primeculprits.

3. Calls to 'short' numbers or 09xx numbers - often used for voting on TV shows etc - again, very expensive.
Its the data use I suspect. She should turn off her data connection and only turn it on when she actually want to use it, also turn off push notifications (allowing apps to send you stuff) yes, she should check if there are any limitations on her free minutes, eg calling landlines or specified dial codes. It might also help to check her data usage balance, keep a note of what she does for a day, and then check it again. The other data usage thing I got caught out on once was allowing the phone to use geo location...lots of apps use it quite legitimately but if you keep it turned on it eats data. Of course all downloading of songs, apps, updates and so on should be done when connected to free wifi, at home is usually easiest.
Yes- I was caught out by a very brief call to an 08 number for a well known company- cost me £4 including a set up fee.
Her monthly EE bill will detail any "charges outside package" - that will identify the actual calls/messages/data that has boosted her bill - she can access past bills online at
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fiction-factory, She doesn't use the internet. She hardly knows how to google. She has a Scrabble type app on her phone and plays that quite a bit, but apart from that it's just calls and texts. She doesn't have a land-line so is making all her calls via her mobile.
She needs to check how her data usage compares to the allowance to see if she is exceeding the 10GB.
She can also view her bill online to see what charges have been made for calls outside her allowance
does she play the scrabble type app against other players?
It's almost certainly not the data - 10GB is huge - I leave my iPhone data on and use it all day every day - if I use 4GB in a month it's unusual (unless streaming TV or Films).
Okay, crossed-posts.
She needs to get a breakdown of her bill. Maybe you can work with her to view her on line bill. It will show each billed call.

Looks as if it's calls to premium rate numbers- some 08 and 09 numbers are free (0800) but some can have set up fees of £5 and then chathe by teh minute.
If she's ringing to vote on BGT or similar or donating to Comic Relief etc that can easily cost £5-£10 a call
Also, does anyone in the house borrow her phone?
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//does she play the scrabble type app against other players? //


//does anyone in the house borrow her phone? //

No. She lives alone.
I refer you to my earlier messages ...
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//Maybe you can work with her to view her on line bill. //

I'll ask her for her account number and if she'll allow me to have a look.
If she isn't Internet savvy one thing she should get someone to check is what updates are going on in the background undetected. Although with a 10G allowance that does seem a long shot. she should turn off the data on her phone as a precaution since she isn't using it.

Aside from that, as ff says, she needs a breakdown of the bill to see what is taking up the money. I'm still unclear whether this monthly expense is above that agreed in the contract as the regular payment. But contacting the company or maybe visiting an EE shop should help clarify things.

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