European Union mobile roaming fees 'may still catch you out'

Advocates hoped the new EU legislation will end the ‘bill shock’ suffered by millions who are left with costly charges following summer breaks

Advocates hoped the new EU legislation will end the ‘bill shock’ suffered by millions who are left with costly charges following summer breaks

The move which will be welcomed by residents all over the European Union comes after the European Union commission agreed to proposals that will see all mobile phone operators across its members states being forced into capping all charges for calls, texts and data usage.

Roaming charges within and outside Europe account for an average of around 5 per cent of sales for telephone operators in Europe. No Icelandic telecom companies have applied for such a provision, says Hrafnkell, as it is not certain that the abolition of roaming charges will lead to losses.

It's unclear whether we will still benefit from the arrangement when the United Kingdom leaves the EU. The "roam like home" legislation aims to prevent consumers receiving huge bills after downloading films or other data while travelling in Europe.

Instances of so-called "bill shock", when mobile users return home to nasty bills for using their phone overseas, have spiralled in recent years, especially since the widespread uptake of smartphones and corresponding consumption of mobile data.

These are extra charges for making calls, sending texts and using data when in a foreign country and apply as soon as a mobile phone uses an overseas network.

There have been a number of cases when mobile users have been landed with bills for hundreds of euros or pounds.

Countries such Switzerland and Andorra as well as the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, which are not formally part of the EU or even the European Economic Area (EEA), may not be included.

Which? also stressed that consumers should double check with their provider whether the country they are travelling to is included in the ban.

But fair usage policies mean that mobile operators will be able to impose caps on the amount of data certain customers can enjoy while roaming, particularly those with unlimited data plans.

It found calling Spain from the United Kingdom can cost between 9p with provider Giffgaff to £1.50 per minute on O2.

Users that exceed their agreed minutes, texts and data will still be charged in the EU.

There you have it feel free to Roam free this summer.

Ernest Doku, mobiles spokesman at uSwitch.com, said any attempt to re-introduce the charges post-Brexit would "a bitter pill for consumers to swallow".

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