The end of EU roaming charges explained

man-talking-on-the-phone-1582238_640Going on holiday can be so expensive can’t it. First you’ve got the cost of the holiday itself, then flights, transfers, souvenirs, new clothes, passport renewal and then the costs of your mobile phone bill. Calling home, or catching up with people while away, can be an expensive part of your holiday. On occasion surprise bills can catch people unaware thanks to EU roaming charges. Well – no more!


The end is here. For roaming charges in the EU at least! If you are someone who has ever been to an EU country and then received a shocking mobile bill when you came home then you’ll love this! As of Thursday the 15th of June the end to roaming charges is here. In theory you should be able to call home, to check on your dog or remind someone to water your plants, without eye-watering costs now.


Back in 2015 EU regulators agreed that there would be an end to the huge charges associated with making calls within the EU. The date was set for June 2017 and finally the time is here! The end of EU roaming charges is now. This means that mobile phone operators, including Three, EE, O2 and Vodafone will now charge their customers domestic prices to make calls, send text messages and use data in other EU countries. This means that if you have a mobile phone deal with texts, data and voice minutes included that you should be able to use your allowance the same as you would do if you were at home.


Fair usage policies apply for data, so you will still want to be careful. Basically if you breach the fair usage terms, and use a large amount of data, your operator can charge you extra for this. Be sure you are aware of the fair usage policies before you travel to another EU country. The same applies for text messages and minutes. Back home if you went over your allowance there will be charges. These will apply the same if you are in another EU country now so it is well worth checking your mobile phone deal to check what you get included and what those additional charges are.


If you are in another EU country and want to make a cross-border telephone call, or send a text, then there may still be costs involved. This would apply the same if you were at home and you wanted to call someone in another EU country.


Things to look out for include the data allowances set out by your mobile phone provider. Also, most providers have terms that you cannot roam on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. This may mean that if you are away for more than 60 days, or even 60 days in a four month period, that you could start to incur additional costs.


At present the EU roaming rules cover the 28 countries within the EU. Some mobile phone operators are covering countries in the European Economic Area and even further afield, such as the US. This is fantastic for consumers and means that keeping in touch while on holiday doesn’t need to cost £100s anymore.