Mobile phone giants back down over fees on text donations

Orange and T-Mobile suspend their fees on donations made by mobile phone after Institute of Fundraising launches campaign

Orange and T-Mobile
Orange and T-Mobile

Everything Everywhere, the umbrella company formed by Orange and T-Mobile to run both operators’ mobile phone networks, has suspended its fees on text donations after the Institute of Fundraising launched a campaign to persuade it to drop the charges permanently.

The IoF wrote to all of its organisational members last week asking them to join its campaign, which calls upon Everything Everywhere to pass on 100 per cent of text donations to all charities.

The letter said it was the only operator not to do so. O2, Vodafone and Virgin have all committed to pass on all of each text donation to charities.

A statement by Everything Everywhere last Friday said it was suspending the administration charge on text donations to charities.

It said that the company did already pass on 100 per cent of donations to its charity partners.

"For non-partners, who are responsible for a small fraction of the text-to-donate funds raised, we have historically passed on administrative costs," the statement said. "However, as part of our review this has been suspended.

"Our review is focused on making the service even better for more charities, including a simple Gift Aid mechanism for customers."

Everything Everywhere said it was in the process of developing a system that would help reduce the amount of unclaimed Gift Aid through text donations and would be making a further announcement soon.

A spokeswoman for the umbrella company said she was still waiting for confirmation of how long the suspension would last, but said it meant that for now all charities would receive 100 per cent of text donations.

Louise Richards, director of policy and campaigns at the institute, told Third Sector it was happy Everything Everywhere had suspended the charges, but wanted a guarantee that this would mean a permanent change in policy.  

"In the scheme of things it’s not a lot for them to do," she said. "It’s a small step for them to take but it will make such a big difference to charities."

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