It aims to stamp out ‘bill shock, ‘ which saw up to nine million Britons a year being landed with huge, unexpected charges after downloading films or other data while travelling in Europe.
Roam like home: but you may possibly still be billedWhat are roaming charges?
United Kingdom travellers can incur huge charges from using their phones in non-EU countries if their carriers do not have a roaming bundle deal in place. Any voice call, SMS and data session made while traveling overseas in the European Union will be deducted from the monthly package of minutes, SMS and data in the home country with no extra charges.
“Telecommunications are one of the main priorities of the European Commission to achieve a connected continent, and this measures relates to the ordinary citizen, who should still feel as if he is within the union, if not necessarily his own country, when using his mobile phone overseas”, stated Hrafnkell.
According to research by website uSwitch, more than nine million United Kingdom mobile users were caught out by “bill-shock” after using their phones overseas.
Consumer body Which? has warned holiday makers to carefully check their mobile providers’ travelling terms to avoid getting caught out.
Mobile providers also include different countries in their roaming territories and this can vary depending on whether customers are pay as you go or pay monthly.
Haven’t the charges already been banned, or lessened?
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.
European Commissioner Gunther Oettinger has said the agreement showed the EU could deliver tangible results to improve the daily life of Europeans, adding that “roaming charges will be soon old memories”.
And most United Kingdom providers already offer add-ons or sweeteners that make it much cheaper to use your phone overseas.
Then, of course, there is the question of what happens post-Brexit.
This remains unclear, but the ban is expected to remain in place for British phone users for two years at least.
Four out of every ten people say they have received shock roaming bills following a trip overseas.