Using your mobile phone on holiday in Europe: UPDATE after roaming charges scrapped in EU

A new law has been introduced in the European Union which stands to benefit all Britons. 

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Roaming charges within the EU have been abolished as of June 15 2017. 

That means the end of skyrocketing phone bills from holidays in Europe. 

Mobile phone users from the UK can now make phone calls, send texts and use data in all EU countries without extra charges. 

The ‘Roam Like at Home’ law has been introduced after EU officials agreed in 2015 to force operators to offer standardised service within the region. 

In a statement the European Commission said: “Each time a European citizen crossed an EU border, be it for holidays, work, studies or just for a day, they had to worry about using their mobile phones and a high phone bill from the roaming charges when they came home.

“Eliminating roaming charges is one of the greatest and most tangible successes of the EU.” 

But mobile phone users have been warned about possibly soaring charges in other European countries

Travellers should check which countries are included as roaming charges out of the EU could soon face a 20 per cent VAT on top for data. 

The free EU roaming rules apply to the 28 member countries. 

These include Austria, Azores ,Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Martinique, Poland, Portugal, Reunion Islands, Romania, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands and Vatican City.

But some phone companies are extending the rule to countries in the European Economic Area, including Norway and Iceland. 

There is no operator consistency to which countries are included, so check with your individual phone company before you travel if you’re unsure.  

Travellers have also been warned that it costs more to call an EU country from the UK than it would be to call from the EU. 

MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis said: “There’s a lot of confusion over the new roaming rules and what calls are included and aren’t. This isn’t surprising as in many ways they’re counter-logical.

“After all, it’s a bit bizarre that if you call to book a Spanish restaurant on your UK mobile from home before you jet off, you’ll pay a whopping international call cost. 

“But save making the booking call until you arrive in Spain, and it’d count as part of your free minutes.

“And it’s even more bizarre that if you call your grandma in Poland on your UK mobile while in Spain, that’s part of your free minutes too. Yet if you call her from the UK to tell her you’ve arrived back home safely, you’ll likely pay expensive international call costs again. 

“In fact, if you have lots of EU calls to make, it’s cheaper to wait until you’re abroad to do it.”

Holidaymakers should also be aware there is a “fair use” clause in the new law which allows operators to charge you if your data usage goes beyond a “reasonably high volume”. 

The free roaming rule will be in effect at least until 2019. Beyond Brexit, the rules remain unclear. 

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Post Author: martin

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Martin is an enthusiastic programmer, a webdeveloper and a young entrepreneur. He is intereted into computers for a long time. In the age of 10 he has programmed his first website and since then he has been working on web technologies until now. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of BriefNews.eu and PCHealthBoost.info Online Magazines. His colleagues appreciate him as a passionate workhorse, a fan of new technologies, an eternal optimist and a dreamer, but especially the soul of the team for whom he can do anything in the world.

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