There was some good news this week for anyone that has been hit by high charges when they’ve used use their mobile phone abroad.
Members of the European Parliament and representatives the European Commission have finally agreed on new EU Roaming rules. (A preliminary deal was agreed in March)
The new rules will come into force on 1st July 2012 – just in time for the holiday season when roaming charges are more common.
Under the new rules consumers will pay no more than (excl. VAT):
* 29 cents per minute to make a call, (currently 35c)
* 8 cents per minute to receive a call, (currently 11c)
* 9 cents to send a text message (currently 11c)
* 70 cents per Megabyte (MB) to download data or browse the Internet. (no previous cap)
These price caps will progressively go down each year so that by 1 July 2014, roaming consumers will be paying no more than 19 cents per minute to make a call, a maximum 5 cents per minute to receive a call, maximum 6 cents to send a text message and maximum 20 cents per MB to download data or browse the Internet whilst travelling in the EU.
There is also now an obligation on mobile phone companies to suspend data service (internet access) to any customer when the monthly data-roaming cost reaches €50 (excluding VAT), unless the customer explicitly agrees to a higher limit
Operators will also be obliged to issue customers with usage alerts as soon as 80 per cent of the €50 data charge (excluding VAT) or any agreed higher limit is reached
Be aware that these charges and rules only apply to EU countries . If you use your mobile phone , Ipad etc outside the EU- roaming charges could be much higher . Roaming costs in popular tourist destinations such as Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia, America and the Far East could be much higher. For example in Turkey – it could cost €1.78 a minute to recieve a call from Ireland.