Unexpected roaming charges are a thing of the past – or they will be from Thursday, anyway, when they’re being completely abolished in the EU.
UK mobile phone users will be able to use their regular allowance of data and calls without paying any extra,in an attempt to curb overspending on holiday. Since 2007, the EU has cut roaming charges by around 91%, and many phone networks including Three have already offered “Feel at Home” offers for several years, charging their users no extra for using data or calls abroad.
Good news if you’re heading off on your holidays and still want to use Instagram – but, obviously, there is a catch.
You’ll still be charged if you exceed your texts, calls or data limits – and some providers will be charging you a premium of £7.80/GB if that happens. Others worry that the lost revenue will cause mobile phone providers to push up prices – making everything more expensive.
Users on very cheap deals may still be charged, however – but it’s easy to find out whether that will be the case. Simply divide the price of your monthly phone bill by your monthly data allowance in GB: if it’s less than £7.80, you might still be charged. In these cases, it’s always best to check with your service provider.
Which? managing editor Alex Neill said that although “many will reap the benefits of these changes”, it’s important that people “take a close look at what is or isn’t included in your current mobile deal”.
“Not knowing what’s included could lead to some surprising charges on your next bill,” he added.
And Steve Nowottny from Moneysavingexpert.com said it “remains to be seen” whether mobile providers will stick to the limits.
“As the rules stand, it’s entirely possible many with competitively priced mobile bills will have to continue paying additional roaming fees to use their full UK data allowance abroad.”
So check with your mobile provider before you make any four-hour phone calls on holiday – and don’t get too used to it, because it’s currently unclear whether it’ll continue after Brexit happens.