Keeping connected via a mobile device with friends, family, colleagues or even your pet has become a part of modern life. But the ability to do so when travelling abroad can come with a hefty price tag…
Last June, we celebrated with you the news that a ban on roaming charges in the EU had finally come into force. The new ‘Roam Like at Home’ rules ensure that when you’re travelling in the EU you’ll pay the same prices as you do in the UK to make calls, send texts and get online.
And when these rules came into force, we asked you here on Which? Conversation if the ban on mobile roaming charges should be maintained as part of the government’s Brexit negotiations.
Over 1,500 of you voted in our poll, and a whopping 92% of you said ‘yes’, and we agree. In fact, we think the government should go one step further…
As we edge closer to the date when the UK formally leaves the EU, our government will soon start negotiating new trade deals around the world. As part of those negotiations, we believe there’s an opportunity for the UK to secure global roaming agreements with non-EU countries to benefit all travellers.
While some of us are happy to switch off our phones when we go overseas, many of us rely on our mobile phone to keep in touch with home or for work, or simply to navigate our way around unfamiliar territory.
To then return home to find you’ve racked up a massive mobile phone bill for seemingly everyday use can come as a nasty surprise.
Yet, frustratingly, bill shock does still happen. Despite the new EU roaming rules having been in force now for nine months, we still hear plenty of stories from UK travellers who’ve been stung by sky-high fees, believing they would be charged the same for using their mobile phone as they would in the UK.
One such story came from Richard, who warned about maritime roaming costs:
‘Roaming charges in the EU are one thing but BEWARE if travelling by ferry! I got stung with maritime roaming costs on the Dover to Calais crossing, 2 phones – 2 crossings – £40!! No where on-board warned of this either.’
While Chris had a cautionary tale about using a phone in the Greek Islands:
‘When we were in Rhodes in July, my wife’s phone latched onto a signal from Turkey, so you still have to be vigilant when roaming near the borders of the EU.’
Over to you
What do you think? Do you think the government should negotiate roaming deals for both EU and non-EU countries? Do you use your phone abroad? Would this help you? Have you ever experienced bill shock?