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What is bill capping?

How to limit your bill and avoid nasty surprises.


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Have you ever had a massive shock when your mobile phone bill’s come through? Maybe you’ve been away and forgot to turn data roaming off. Or you’ve got lost in your favourite film, not realising that you were actually streaming it rather than watching offline – and then the bill arrives. Painful stuff.

Well, bill capping is here to take away those nasty surprises, and in this article, we’ll take a closer look at what it is, and what it means for you.

What is bill capping?

Put simply, it’s the ability to cap the amount you pay on your monthly mobile phone bill by setting a maximum limit.

What’s changing?

Here are the big things to know:

1. From 1 October, all mobile service sellers and operators in the UK must give their customers the option to opt in or out of this service.

2. Under this new law, customers must be told when their limit is likely to be reached.

3. You’ll also be able to select the amount you’d like to cap the bill at – your network will provide those options.

4. The cap includes any usage over your monthly charge, but doesn’t include any other subscriptions you may have made – things like in-app purchases and subscriptions.

Why is it happening?

54% of people have received a higher than normal phone bill in the last 12 months, so this law is being brought in to try and avoid people being shocked by their bill. It’s all about taking control of your billing.

Some more of your FAQs

Do I need to arrange the bill cap?

No need. When you get a new contract with Carphone Warehouse, the experts in store can help you arrange a bill cap.

What if I took out a contract out before the new billing capping laws?

In this case, you'd have to contact your network provider as each network has different guidelines.

Do I have to have a bill cap?

No, you can opt out of this completely if you like. Some networks let you choose from a range of amounts at which to limit your spending – just pick the level that suits you.

What happens when I reach my bill cap?

When you hit your bill cap, you won’t be able to use any allowances you’ve run out of (whether that’s calls, texts or data), or use anything that would cost you extra – things like international calls or premium numbers. You can usually buy add-ons if you need more of anything.

How will I know when I’m getting close to my bill cap?

You’ll get notifications from your network when you’re approaching your bill cap.

Can I change my bill cap at a later date?

Yes, you can change your bill cap whenever you like. Just get in touch with your network provider.

If you’ve decided to arrange your bill cap, then you might want to learn how much data you need to set the right limit.

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