Roaming charges are back after Brexit – beware of high mobile phone bills | Mobile phones

RConnection charges have been back in full force since Brexit, so if your mobile is never far from your hand, it’s important to make sure your post-holiday shine isn’t ruined by a shock bill for calls and data when you return home.

Almost all major mobile phone companies, including EE, Sky Mobile, Three and Vodafone have reintroduced roaming charges in the EU, with giffgaff and Tesco Mobile the latest names to announce contract changes.

Giffgaff told its customers that from July 26, they will only be able to use up to 5GB of data per month in the EU. Above that level they will be charged 10p per MB. In an article on its website, the company blamed the move on connection costs incurred when people move around the EU.

Giffgaff said it had “made the decision to mitigate some of this cost, so that we can at least give our members up to 5GB to roam around the EU, at no additional cost.” He pointed to usage data from 2019, which showed that more than 90% of his members had used less than that figure when roaming in the EU.

In another change, the sun is setting on the free roaming enjoyed by Tesco Mobile customers under its Home from Home contract. Starting in early 2023, new subscribers and upgrade customers will lose this benefit; Existing customers will continue to enjoy this benefit provided they do not switch devices or switch to a SIM-only contract. Roaming charges will be 10p per MB of data, 20p per SMS and 55p per minute for calls.

In 2017, mobile networks in EU countries were banned from charging customers extra fees to use their phones in other member countries, with the right to make calls, send texts and, above all, to use data quotas anywhere in Europe – like at home – one of the most popular pieces of EU legislation in the UK. However, the Brexit deal did not include continued protection against roaming charges.

With different tariffs from one network to another, traveling with your phone is a “confusing time”, says Ernest Doku, telecommunications expert at price comparison and switching service Uswitch.com.

As a first step, Doku suggests you check the roaming charges for your destination and see if your provider has a fair usage policy. This means they can restrict your full allowance in the UK even if you have an unlimited plan at home. Three, for example, has a fair use limit of 12GB, and you’ll be charged £3 per GB if you exceed it.

Have you checked the roaming charges for your vacation destination? Photography: Elizaveta Galitckaia/Alamy

Of the Big Four, O2 is the only one to say it has no current plans to bring back roaming charges, while Virgin Mobile customers should also be free of roaming charges” for this year. at least,” Doku said.

“Depending on when you last took out a mobile or sim contract, or upgraded your phone, you may be protected from new roaming charges from your provider as they will not have been written into your contract at that time,” he added.

If you switch networks, you may be able to continue roaming at no additional cost and save money on your bills. “O2 is the last major network not to bring roaming charges back for customers traveling to the EU, but some smaller SIM-only networks also offer inclusive roaming in Europe and could be a good option if you don’t you don’t venture too far,” says Doku. .

The easiest way to avoid accidental charges while abroad is to go to your mobile’s settings menu and disable roaming. If you need to connect, use your hotel wifi or local restaurants and bars. Also consider putting your phone on airplane mode when in transit to avoid incurring charges when crossing different territories.

Another drastic option is to turn off your phone and relax. Go ahead, you know you can do it.

About Anne Wurtsbach

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