Orange hike Pay As You Go call charges by 25%, text charges by 20% from July

May 29th, 2011

From the 1st July 2011, Orange are increasing the price of calls from 20p/minute to 25p/minute and texts from 10p each to 12p each.

What changes are being made from the 1st July 2011?

As of the 1st July 2011, Orange are increasing the prices on calls, texts and voicemail for Pay As You Go customers as follows:

  • Call charges increasing to 25p/minute. The price of standard calls is increasing from 20p/minute to 25p/minute. This applies for all outgoing calls to UK mobiles and UK landlines.
  • The minimum call charge rises to 25p. The minimum call charge rises from 20p to 25p. This means you’ll be charged 25p for all calls you make which are shorter than one minute.
  • Texts increasing to 12p per message. The cost of sending a UK-bound text message rises from 10p to 12p.
  • Voicemail now costs 25p. The cost of the answer phone service rises from 20p/minute to 25p/minute.

To partially compensate for the price rises, customers on the Dolphin and Monkey plans will now receive 400 free text messages and 100MB internet instead of 300 free text messages and 100MB internet when they top up by £10. The free text messages expire after 30 days.

On the whole, these are fairly significant price rises for Orange Pay As You Go customers and very few people will benefit from the increases in the free allowances.

How do the new Orange call charges compare with other networks?

After July’s price rises, Orange becomes one of the more expensive tariffs for outgoing calls. Of the big five, T-Mobile probably offers the cheapest calls at 20p/minute and 100 free minutes with a £10 top-up (get a free T-Mobile SIM card). Looking beyond, budget networks such as Giffgaff and ASDA Mobile offer calls at 8p/minute.

Network Calls Texts Internet Voicemail
Orange 25p/min 12p £2/day (100MB free with £10 top-up) 25p/minute
Three 26p/min 11p 11p/MB (150MB free with £10 top-up) 16p/minute
O2 25p/min* 12p £1/day (500MB free with £10 top-up) 15p/call
T-Mobile 20p/min 12p £1/day 12p/minute
Vodafone 21p/min 10p £1/day (500MB free with £10 top-up) 21p/minute
Giffgaff 8p/min 4p 20p/day for 20MB then 20p/MB 8p/call
ASDA Mobile 8p/min 4p 20p/MB 8p/minute

* On O2 Pay As You Go, the cost of calls to landlines and other O2 mobiles drops to 5p/minute after the first 3 minutes.

For more information, see our guide to Pay As You Go tariffs and free Pay As You Go SIM cards.

How can I cut the cost of calls on Orange Pay As You Go?

Switching to the “Racoon” tariff will halve the cost of calls to 12p/minute.

You can halve the cost of your phone calls by asking Orange Customer Services to move you to the Racoon tariff. Racoon has a flat-rate of 12p for calls and texts but you won’t get any free allowances when you top-up. Also, it’s not suitable for smartphones (there is no inclusive internet with a top-up and internet is incredibly expensive on Racoon).

Dolphin/Monkey/Canary Racoon
Standard calls 25p/min 12p/min
Text messages 12p 12p
Minimum call charge 25p 12p
Voicemail 25p 12p
Internet £2/day £4/MB

According to Orange, “The Racoon plan does not come with benefits such as Bright Top Ups, Magic Numbers, Reserve Tank, and Phone Fund, but it does come with Orange Wednesdays.”

I’m leaving Orange. Can I keep my existing phone number?

Yes. You’ll need to ask Orange for a PAC Code and then you’ll need to provide this to your new network. Our PAC Code Finder tool can take you through the process of transferring your phone number. Please note that you may need to unlock your phone.

Where can I find out more about the Orange price changes?

Orange have set up a webpage detailing some of the key price plan changes. For a full listing of all the charges on Orange Pay As You Go from July, see the Orange Pay As You Go Price Guide (1st July 2011). Until the 1st July, the old call charges apply – refer to the 8th December 2010 price guide.

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About Ken

Ken Lo

My passion is helping people to get the most out of their mobile phone. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005.

Aside from writing about mobile technology, my interests are in software development, digital marketing and physics. Outside of the blog, I work with numerous technology companies helping them to explain their product and helping them to market it to consumers. Please get in touch for more information.

Your Comments

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 5 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  1. Angus Day said:

    The charges for the Orange Racoon tariff are, in fact, 14p per minute for calls and 14p for text messages, as shown at:

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Angus,

      Thanks a lot for the heads up! As you mention, the prices have gone up to 14p/min and 14p/text since the article was published in 2011. The lowest-cost deal is probably Three’s 321 Tariff at 3p/minute and 2p/text. There’s a full comparison of all the Pay As You Go networks here.



  2. marxworld said:

    Man alive orange really don;t give you much for your money these days. It's almost like they dont want to be competative but suppose they do have coverage and the lock ins thanks to that.

  3. Chris said:

    ASDA Mobile calls are now 10p per min & text 6p per text

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for the heads up on this; we'll have a write-up of this soon.



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