MOBILE phone companies have started to reintroduce roaming charges for Brits visiting the EU.
O2, EE and Three have all made changes to the way customers can use data while abroad after Brexit, which could result in a bigger phone bill.
Brits could be hit with bigger phone bills after using data in the EU[/caption]
Under EU rules, phone firms scrapped fees for travellers using mobile data services.
This meant Brits have been able to travel throughout Europe and not pay extra for calls, texts and data since 2014.
But when the UK left the European Union at the end of last year, mobile networks were able to reintroduce roaming charges.
Most continued without extra fees, but phone companies have now begun to make changes to their roaming charges.
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Take a look at how many minutes and texts, as well as how much data you’re using, to find out which deal is best for you.
For example, if you’re a heavy internet user it’s worth finding a deal that accomodates this so you don’t end up spending extra on bundles or add-ons each month.
Also note that if you’re still in your contract period, you might be charged an exit fee.
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It’s worth using comparison websites, such as MoneySupermarket and uSwitch.com, to compare tarrifs and phone prices.
Billmonitor also matches buyers to the best pay-monthly deal based on their previous three months of bills.
It only works if you’re a customer of EE, O2, Three, Vodafone or Tesco Mobile and you’ll need to log in with your online account details.
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If you’re happy with your provider then it might be worth using your research to haggle a better deal.
They will either charge a daily fee or shrink the amount of data consumers can use without facing a hefty phone bill.
Meanwhile, other major operators have confirmed they don’t currently have any plans to reintroduce data roaming charges.
The government has set a roaming charge limit to protect consumers, which is currently £45 per monthly billing period.
This means you cannot continue to use mobile data services beyond that limit when roaming unless you actively chose to continue spending.
Consumers also receive alerts when they are at 80% and 100% data usage.
Here’s what all the major phone networks have announced so far.
EE announced yesterday that it will introduce a flat fee of £2 a day when visiting 47 destinations in Europe.
This charge will cover the use of data, minutes and text allowances of the contract you’re on.
The rules will apply to new customers who join the network from July 7.
Existing customers will face roaming charges when they upgrade after this date.
The new charge will then apply to them when travelling to one of the countries from January 2022 onwards.
The fees will not apply when travelling to the Republic of Ireland.
An EE spokesperson said: “Customers travelling abroad for longer will be able to use a 30-day Roam Abroad Pass.
“Essential plan customers will be able to take the Pass for £10, while Smart or Full Works plans customers are able to include the same pass as part of their plan.”
O2 has informed customers that they will be billed £3.50 for every gigabyte of data used above a 25Gb limit this summer.
In its email to customers, O2 said that the “changes to our roaming fair usage policy” would begin from August 2.
“As your monthly UK data allowance is over 25GB, you can still use your data in our Europe Zone,” O2 told one customer.
“But it’s now subject to a Roaming Limit of 25GB.
“Once you’ve reached this limit you’ll be charged an additional cost of £3.50/GB.”
Three will slash the amount of data consumers can use without being charged.
It revealed that from July 1 its fair use limit for data while in the EU will reduce from 20GB per month to 12GB.
A Three spokesperson told The Sun the change followed a review of its fair use policy and the change brings it in line with the allowance for the rest of the world.
The mobile firm said: “The new fair use limit is still more than enough for holidaymakers to use their phone like they would if they were in the UK.
“There is no change to our surcharge, so data usage over 12GB (up to the customer’s allowance), will remain subject to a small fee of 0.3p per MB.”
Vodafone confirmed that it has no current plans to reintroduce roaming charges.
But there is nothing to stop the network deciding to impose charges in the future.
Consumers that use Sky Mobile will avoid roaming fees while visiting EU countries.
They will be able to use their allowances for data, as well as calls and texts, in the same way they do at home.
A Sky Mobile spokesperson told The Sun: “Sky Mobile customers will not be charged roaming charges in EU countries and will be able to continue to use their data, call and text allowances as they do in the UK.”
Tesco Mobile customers won’t be impacted by roaming charges when visiting the EU.
The company told The Sun that it does not currently have plans to impose fees.
However, this could change in future.
A spokesperson for the network said: “We have no current plans to reintroduce EU roaming charges.”
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