Survey Shows Uncertainty Around Mobile Phone Roaming Charges

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11th July 2014 17:45 - Telecommunications

A survey, conducted for Which?, has highlighted uncertainty and shock around mobile phone rates and bills when using devices abroad.

The study, which was conducted with 2,114 UK adults, discovered that around one in six (17%) of those who had taken their phone abroad in the last year were shocked when they received their phone bill.

Of the 17%, one quarter (25%) incurred a charge in excess of £40 on top of their usual monthly bill.

Furthermore, two fifths (39%) of those who were shocked with their hefty phone bill were not sure whether or not they could challenge their mobile phone provider on the excessive bill – three in 10 (29%) did not know and 10% did not believe they had the right to protest.

The European Union’s (EU) new roaming charges (as of July 1st) set out maximum charges for outgoing calls (19 cents per minute, excluding VAT), outgoing texts (six cents) and downloading data (20 cents for one megabyte), which will apply to EU nations only.

However, Populus’ survey showed that 45% of those who went abroad in the last 12 months did not know price caps didn’t apply outside of Europe. Almost half (48%) thought price caps did apply outside of Europe.

Richard Lloyd, executive director at Which?, told Populus: “Capping EU mobile roaming charges is welcome news for millions of travellers, especially those who have faced expensive charges for data roaming when their mobile hasn’t even left their suitcase.

“Consumers travelling within the EU should now be much clearer on the charges they have to pay.”

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