O2 charge more for sending texts than emails while abroad

Bitterwallet - O2 FAILLast year, O2 did an awful lot of fiddling with their tariffs, using headlines to promote the good news and making no mention of the changes that could cost customers dearly - you wouldn't expect anything less, of course. For example, before March last year many O2 customers could text from outside the EU without cost - instead of being charged, O2 would deduct four SMS messages from their monthly allowance.

O2 then changed the tariffs so that new and upgrading customers were charged 16p per international text - detail they failed to tell anyone about. We warned readers to read the small print if they were due to upgrade because catching out a lot of customers who were unaware of the additional costs until they received their bill.

Last month, O2 simplified their smartphone tariffs - and according to avid Bitterwallet reader Steve the price of sending texts from abroad has sky-rocketed:

"I was away in the US for a week, and I've just checked my usage online so the next bill isn't too much of a shock.

"I sent 28 text messages on the new O2 tariff which I switched to at the end of last month. 28 texts have cost me £7 - that's 25p per text!"

Ouch. That means texting from outside the EU has risen by over 56 per cent in just 12 months.

In fact, given that data in the US is £6 per MB and emails are typically 35Kb, it'd be actually cheaper to send emails than texts, more so if you're using a lot of data, since O2 charges a maximum of £40 for 50MB - roughly 5p per email sent. Obviously it doesn't quite work like that, since you'd use data to receive emails too and you'd often download several emails rather than single items. The fact remains that texting with O2 from abroad has become needlessly expensive - bad news for travellers this summer.


  • Will
    I don't get the issue here ? Surely anyone who goes on holiday checks how much it will be to use their phone abroad. If you don't then well tough shit really isn't it. 25p per text isn't exactly excessive is it.
  • dvdj
    25p is nothing. Try T-Mobile where it's 40p per text while abroad! Shocking. I just e-mail when I'm in a WiFi area usually unless it's urgent.
  • Ed
    Non-bundled texts in the UK are generally around 10 - 12p. Email is free at a hotspot or far less expensive than data roaming on a mobile data connection. So the same advice applies here just as much. The fact that data roaming is so ridiculously high (even in the EU, and even if you roam within the same company) is the true scandal.
  • BMJ
    O2 always send you a text telling you what it is going to cost to send texts/use data when abroad so they are being unfairly spanked here. Mind you they should get a slap for those silly ads.

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