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Benefits of pay-as-you-go handsets and SIMs include having complete control over your spend, and knowing how much call time is left before the next top-up is due. Well, if you PAYG with Vodafone in the UK, prepare to start seeing those available minutes diminish a little quicker than you're used to. You may have been unaware that calls are currently charged by the second, but come August 1st, the network will begin pricing calls by the minute. Basically, this means calls will be rounded up to the next minute, so a natter lasting just over a minute will be charged as two, losing you precious seconds. Voda says this is to make things simpler, so "you'll always know exactly how many minutes you have left" -- or don't, as the case may be. In a statement, the carrier was keen to point out that several "competitors already offer price plans charged in this way," and that top-up extras (like free minutes and cake) "continue to offer our customers great value." Nice try, Voda. Full statement after the break.

We are making a change to the pricing of our Pay as you go service. From August 2013, all calls made to UK mobile numbers and landlines (starting 01,02,03) as well as calls to international numbers and voicemail will be rounded up to the nearest minute.
Many of our competitors already offer price plans charged in this way. We believe that by offering propositions with a generous allowance of minutes, we continue to offer our customers great value. For example, our Talk Freebee package includes 1000 minutes over 30 days when a customer tops up £10 and Vodafone Freedom Freebee includes 100 minutes and 300 texts when a customer tops up £10.