Roaming charges now scrapped in Europe: What you need to know
Roaming charges in Europe are now over, as of last week (15 June). This means you can browse Facebook or send pictures to friends for the same price as when you’re at home.
The end to roaming charges is for all countries in the EU – that includes Spain, Portugal and Italy. You’ll be able to save money as you won’t have to pay over the odds to use your phone abroad.
But you could still end up paying over the odds without realising if you fall foul of the laws. We’ll take through everything you need to know about roaming charges so you don’t end up out of pocket.
What are roaming charges and what’s changed?
Roaming charges are when you pay extra to use your phone abroad. The end to roaming charges in the EU means you now won’t pay anything more to use your phone than you do in the UK. It doesn’t mean you can use your mobile data for free.
The new rules include all 28 EU member countries as well as the European Economic Area countries of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
So as long as you’re travelling in any of these countries, you shouldn’t pay over the odds to use your phone in the same way as you do at home. This means you’ll be able to save money on your holidays to Europe and avoid any unexpected costs.
What to watch out for
But the end to Europe roaming charges doesn’t mean you can browse your phone for less everywhere you go. Countries like Monaco and Switzerland aren’t in the EU – so if you’re travelling here, there could still be high charges for using your phone.
Some mobile networks do give you free roaming in Monaco, Switzerland and other European countries. It’s best to check what yours offers before you go on holiday to make sure you don’t get stung.
Make sure you keep an eye out for how much data you’re using when you’re abroad. If you go over your allowance, you could end up having to pay quite a bit more. And if you’re posting beach selfies every five minutes, you might be using up data faster than you’d think.
And beware – local calls and calls to the UK still count as international calls. This means they’re likely to cost more than usual and won’t count as part of your minutes.
If you’re planning to make a lot of calls when you’re in Europe, see if your network offers a cheaper way of doing this. For example, EE Extra and o2 Travel are two options for getting more affordable European calls.
And if your mobile provider charges you extra when you travel next, you can complain to them. If this doesn’t get you anywhere, escalate your complaint to CICAS or Ombudsman Services: Communications.