Don’t get caught out with emoji charge
I’ve seen lots of people complaining about emoji charges on the EE network so I decided to do some investigating. I have since found out that o2 are charging in certain situations too now.
It turns out that EE and O2 have now started charging up to 40p for some messages sent which have converted themselves into an MMS.
Customers are annoyed because they have been caught out with huge unexpected charges on your monthly bills so I thought I’d take this opportunity to warn you.
You may find on your bill that you’ve been charged for quite a few picture messages (MMS) which can be quite confusing if you don’t actually recall sending any. This is because your text message has been automatically converted into a multi-media message (MMS), which may not be free in your plan.
This is definitely something to be wary of since it comes with no warning.
According to EE’s website, this can happen when:
- you’re sending a group text message (SMS)
- your text includes a non-standard smiley or symbol, i.e., an emoticon or emoji
- your text exceeds the character limit (on some phones this is 160 characters, on others it can be higher)
- adding text to the subject field
There is a way you can stop this from happening. You won’t get charged for using emojis in iMessage, WhatsApp or Facebook so you may want to consider using those other forms of messaging instead.
Depending on your phone, you should be able to go into your messaging settings and turn off the ‘convert SMS to MMS’ activation if your iMessage fails.
It is also worth remembering that when composing a message, if you select a contact which has only an email address and no phone number associated, the some devices will convert the message to MMS. When sending a SMS, be sure to select only contacts with phone numbers as recipients.
When I spoke to O2, they said: ”Smart phones these days automatically change SMS to picture messages depending on the content of the message. When sending a message to more than one person as a group message, some smart phones automatically convert this to an MMS. Also when an adding an emoticon, some smart phones will automatically convert this to a picture message. When exceeding 160 characters some smartphone automatically convert this into a picture message so you will be charged for a picture message rather than a text message.” I have included screenshots below of my conversation with O2 about this matter.
So many people have already been stung with this little trick, so if you know anybody else who’s on either network, please spread the word.