Spending Caps & additional charges CUSTOMER GUIDE

Introducing Spending Caps
- what are they?

A new Ofcom regulation is coming in to effect from 1 October 2018. The regulation gives customers the option set a monthly Spending Cap in order to limit additional costs that fall outside of their standard, agreed monthly charges.

Effective from 1 October, all new or renewing customers are eligible for the Spending Cap.

The option to apply a Spending Cap is offered before you sign the contract. Spending Caps can be added, adjusted or removed at any time by eligible customers via your plan.com partners or by contacting plan.com Customer Support.

Ofcom
HOW DO SPENDING CAPS WORK?

Spending Caps limit the amount of additional charges that can be incurred by a service by notifying them when a Spending Cap limit is being approached and reached, restricting the service so that it can no longer be used in a way that generates additional charges.

Spending Caps are refreshed at the start of every billing cycle. In the case of a service being restricted, these restrictions are removed.

When restrictions are put in place, a service is still able to use any remaining inclusive allowances and free services.

SPENDING CAP LIMITS

Spending Caps can be set at different levels for each service. Spending Caps can be amended at any time.

plan.com is a business service provider, which means our Spending Caps work slightly differently to High Street providers. This is because business customers often have more than one service. Therefore, our Spending Caps apply to each service on your account rather than across your entire account. This means you set up Spending Caps at different levels for every service that you have with us, if that's what your business requires.

'No limit' Spending Caps are also an option.

£0 SPENDING CAPS

Customers have the option to apply £0 Spending Caps to their services. In these cases, the service will be automatically restricted so that some types of usage (such as premium-rate and international calls, roaming etc.) are unavailable. You should only opt to select a £0 limit if you understand that certain kinds of usage will be unavailable to your service.

SETTING THE RIGHT CAP LIMIT

Spending Caps offer a broad safety net against bill shock and give you the confidence that your monthly costs are under control. However, setting a Spending Cap too low may lead to services being constantly restricted and prevent the person using the phone from being connected with the business and its customers.

Please remember when setting an appropriate Spending Cap limit, a certain proportion of out-of-bundle spend is to be expected on any corporate account. For example, international calls, premium-rate calls or roaming usage may be an essential element of your business. Therefore, setting a Spending Cap too low may be an obstruction to the business.

WHAT HAPPENS IF A SERVICE REACHES ITS SPENDING CAP?

Any further chargeable call, text or data usage will be restricted. If you use up your monthly allowances and any bolt-on allowances, additional calls, texts and data usage may be barred. A service will always be able to make calls to emergency services. Calls to plan.com Customer Services will also be available to most services.

Any usage that is still within the agreed allowances will not be restricted. For example, with our unlimited minutes and texts tariffs, you will still be able to call or text other plan.com and O2 mobiles, local geographic numbers etc. And if you are still within your data allowance (you may have reached your Spending Cap due to calls), you can access mobile data as normal until the allowance is exhausted.

CAN A SPENDING CAP BE INCREASED IN ORDER TO REMOVE RESTRICTIONS?

Yes. The service will be sent an SMS at 100% of its Spending Cap limit, which notifies the person using the device of their usage and the restrictions in place. The SMS also gives the service user the opportunity to purchase a bolt-on (giving them extra allowances) or extend the Spending Cap through one of our Captive Pages.

All services on your account with a Spending Cap that's been reached have the ability to make these purchases or extend their Spending Cap via Captive Pages unless a restriction is put in place on the service. To deauthorise a service and remove the ability to extend Spending Caps or purchase bolt-ons, simply call your plan.com partner or speak to plan.com Customer Services on +44(0)3300 88 18 18.

WHICH TARIFFS DO SPENDING CAPS WORK WITH?

Spending Caps work with all tariffs except for shareplus.plan

Alternatives to Spending Caps

Spending Caps allow you to stay in control of your bill but they're not the only option that's available to plan.com customers.

They are useful for customers who want to control their costs but for some customers, whose business may use data, calls and texts in different ways, or travel abroad, the Spending Cap may not be sophisticated enough to control their costs while keeping their service connected.

We offer a set of tailored notifications and bars on our customer's accounts that apply to individual types of usage. For example, you can opt for UK data notifications that alert you when you reach 50%, 80% and 100% data usage, and then bar data. This means you are firmly in control of your account while other types of usage such as calls and texts, remain unaffected.

 

It also means roaming usage (data, calls, texts) can be controlled differently to UK usage, which can be important due to the price differences while roaming and the fact that roaming is infrequent.

What's more, our Alerts & Bars system is available to all customers, no matter when they joined or renewed.

To find out more, call plan.com Customer Services on +44(0)3300 88 18 18 or contact us via our online form.

Additional charges - what are they?

Additional charges (sometimes called out-of-bundle costs or overspend) are any chargeable usage outside of the agreed, contracted monthly charge or the purchasing of bolt-ons.

The following examples would contribute towards your Spending Cap:

  • Calls, texts and data usage outside of the monthly allowance (e.g. if you a have a 5GB data allowance and use 6GB of data).
  • Calling and texting non-geographical or premium rate numbers (aside from numbers that are free to call e.g. some charities).
  • Calling and texting international number from the UK.
  • Calling and texting any number outside of our Europe Zone when you're in our Europe Zone (excluding the UK).
  • Calling, texting and using data when you're in a country which is outside of our Europe Zone without a relevant roaming bolt-on.
  • Calling directory enquiry services.
  • MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service - e.g. sending pictures as part of a text message) are not included in your standard tariff.

The following are not included as additional costs and would not contribute towards the Spending Cap:

  • Recurring charges - such as your standard, fixed monthly tariff charge or contractual bolt-ons.
  • The price for purchasing a bolt-on which you opt-sm-in to e.g. Global Data or Daily Explorer.
  • Any charges relating to the management of your account which includes, but is not limited to, paper bills, itemised paper bills, late payment fees and financial adjustments.
  • Any charges for third-party services (our access fees for these services are however covered in your Spending Cap as set out above).

Additional charges -
how much do they cost?

Please refer to the plan.com price guide for a full breakdown of additional charges.

view the pricing guide

Notifications -
what are they?

If you choose to apply a Spending Cap, you will be notified when you reach 50%, 80% and 100% of your Spending Cap's limit.

For example, if you choose a £10 Spending Cap, notifications will be sent to you at £5, £8 and £10. At £10, the Spending Cap will prevent your service from performing any further chargeable call, text or data usage.

Who will be notified and how?
A text message will be sent to the affected service at the intervals outlined above. An email will also be sent to the nominated notification on your account. This may be the company owner, director/principle, bill payer or authorised user.

Captive Pages

Captive Pages -
what are they?

Business customers need to stay firmly in control of their costs while keeping their business online.

Introducing Captive Pages - webpages that give you all the information you need when you hit your Spending Cap, as well as the tools to keep you connected and in control of costs.

Captive Pages are available through an SMS link whenever a service hits its Spending Cap.

They also appear automatically when a mobile data allowance has been exhausted and a Spending Cap is in place. In these circumstances, Captive Pages will launch when an internet browser or app that uses data is accessed. However, they will not show if the service is connected to wifi in these situations.

Captive pages show you exactly how much data, call, text or roaming additional charges have contributed to your Spending Cap. They also provide options for removing the restrictions that have been in place to prevent any further charges on the account.

Here's how:

Increasing the spending limit

One of the easiest ways to remove the restrictions on a service put in place by a Spending Cap is to increase the spending limit. Captive Pages give the user this ability, allowing them to increase the Spending Cap by a set amount.

Adding bolt-ons
We have a series of great value bolt-ons available to all plan.com customers, which can now be added via Captive Pages!

These include 1GB, 2GB and 5GB Data Boosts (handy if you're running low or run out of UK/EU mobile data), international calling and text options, and a series of roaming bolt-ons that help keep you connected while travelling outside the EU.

Authorised services
All services on your account will have the ability to make these purchases or extend their Spending Cap via Captive Pages unless the service is deauthorised from doing so.

To deauthorise a service and remove the ability to extend Spending Caps or purchase bolt-ons, simply call your plan.com partner or speak to plan.com Customer Services on +44(0)3300 88 18 18.

Deauthorised services will still receive Captive Pages, but for informational purposes only. Financial information such as the Spending Cap amount and the amount of additional charges that were incurred to reach the cap, is hidden.

FAQs

HOW DO SPENDING CAPS WORK?

Spending Caps limit the amount of additional charges that can be incurred by a service by notifying them when a Spending Cap limit is being approached and reached, and restricting the service when the cap is reached so that it can no longer be used in a way that generates additional charges.

Spending Caps are refreshed at the start of every billing cycle. In the case of a service being restricted, these restrictions are removed.

When restrictions are put in place, a service is still able to use any remaining inclusive allowances and free services.

plan.com is a business service provider, which means our Spending Caps work slightly differently to High Street providers because it is common that as a plan.com customer, you have more than one service with us. Therefore, our Spending Caps apply to each service (e.g. phone) on your account rather than to your entire account. This is so that you set up specific Spending Caps for every phone or device that you have with us.

SPENDING CAP LIMITS

Spending Caps can be set at £0, £10, £15, £20, £35, £50, £75, £100, £150, £200 for each service. Larger Spending Caps are available. Spending Caps can be amended at any time.

£0 SPENDING CAPS

Customers have the option to apply £0 Spending Caps to their services. In these cases, the service will be automatically restricted so that some types of usage (such as premium-rate and international calls, roaming etc.) are unavailable. You should only opt to select a £0 limit if you understand that certain kinds of usage will be unavailable to your service.

SETTING THE RIGHT CAP LIMIT

Spending Caps offer a broad safety net against bill shock and give you the confidence that your monthly costs are under control. However, setting a Spending Cap too low may lead to services being constantly restricted and the person using the phone from being connected with the business and its customers.

Please remember when setting an appropriate Spending Cap limit, a certain proportion of out of bundle spend is to be expected on any corporate account. For example, international calls, premium-rate calls or roaming usage may be an essential element of your business. Therefore, setting a Spending Cap too low lay may be an obstruction to the business.

WHAT HAPPENS IF A SERVICE REACHES ITS SPENDING CAP?

Any further chargeable call, text or data usage will be restricted. If you use up your monthly allowances and any bolt-on allowances, additional calls, texts and data usage may be barred. A service will always be able to make calls to emergency services. Calls to plan.com Customer Services will also be available to most services.

Any usage that is still within the agreed allowances will not be restricted. For example, with our unlimited minutes and texts tariffs, you will still be able to call or text other plan.com and O2 mobiles, local geographic numbers etc. And if you are still within your data allowance (you may have reached your Spending Cap due to calls), you can access mobile data as normal until the allowance is exhausted.

CAN A SPENDING CAP BE INCREASED IN ORDER TO REMOVE RESTRICTIONS?

Yes. The service will be sent an SMS at 100% of its Spending Cap limit, which notifies the person using the device of their usage and the restrictions in place. The SMS also gives the service user the opportunity to purchase a bolt-on (giving them extra allowances) or extend the Spending Cap through one of our Captive Pages.

All services on your account with a Spending Cap that's been reached have the ability to make these purchases or extend their Spending Cap via Captive Pages unless a restriction is put in place on the service. To deauthorise a service and remove the ability to extend Spending Caps or purchase bolt-ons, simply call your plan.com partner or speak to plan.com Customer Services on +44(0)3300 88 18 18.

Contact Us

If you are a plan.com customer and think that you are eligible for a Spending Cap (having joined or renewed after 1 October 2018), please call our plan.com Customer Service team on +44(0)3300 88 18 18 or get in contact via the form below.