New rules for roaming fees confirmed – and it could save you money on holiday

By Staff

Ofcom has confirmed that from October 1, 2024, network providers must give customers clear information about roaming fees when they are abroad, including spending caps

UK mobile providers will be required to notify customers when they start roaming while abroad under new rules being introduced by Ofcom.

Most of the major telecom firms have reintroduced roaming fees following Brexit – but crucially, the law requiring mobile operators to alert customers of any charges no longer applies. Ofcom has now said that from October 1, 2024, network providers must give customers clear information when abroad.

They will be required to notify customers when they start roaming, including details on any “fair use” limits or time limits that apply. “Fair use” caps the amount of your UK data allowance you can use while roaming in Europe. Ofcom said people should also be told how to set a spending cap and where to get help if they are confused about roaming costs.

Ofcom noted that many operators have voluntarily continued to send their customers alerts, even after Brexit. But the watchdog found one in five (19%) holidaymakers are still unaware they could face extra charges when using their phone abroad. Before the Brexit transition was complete, you could use your existing call, text and data allowances in Europe at no extra cost.

Cristina Luna-Esteban, Ofcom’s Director of Telecoms Consumer Policy, said: “The last thing holidaymakers want when returning from a trip abroad is an unexpected mobile phone bill. At the moment, some customers aren’t getting clear information from their provider to help them manage their mobile use and plan their spend. Our new protections will mean you’re told what it’ll cost when you start roaming, so you can be confident that there won’t be any surprises when it comes to your mobile bill while on holiday.”

Roaming charges in Europe

  • EE: £2.29 a day for contract customers, or if you have a plan with Inclusive Extras, you can purchase a Roam Abroad Pass for £25 a month. £2.50 a day, or £10 for seven days, if you are pay-as-you-go. 50GB “fair use” limit.
  • Three: £2 a day for contract customers, no charge for pay-as-you-go. You can buy a Data Passport for £5 for unlimited data in 89 countries. 12GB “fair use” limit.

  • Vodafone: £2.25 a day, or buy a European Roaming pass for £10 for 8 days or £15 for 15 days, if you’re a contract customer. From £7 for eight days if you are pay-as-you-go. 25GB “fair use” limit.

  • Sky: £2 a day. No “fair use” limit.

  • Voxi: £2.25 a day for one day, £4 for two days, £10 for eight days, or £15 for 15 days. 20GB “fair use” limit.

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