What are roaming charges?
Roaming charges are put in place when the network detects that you are abroad and extra rates on top of what you normally pay. Charges for making calls, receiving a voicemail, picking it up, sending and receiving texts and pictures and of course using the Internet and downloading or streaming.
What are the charges for roaming abroad?
You could be forgiven for thinking you won’t be charged in Europe for roaming charges because they were banned when we were in the European Union. However since Brexit it’s all change.
Companies can now charge and some say they won’t at the moment. You will need to check whether your provider is charging and from when. From the end of January 2022 a number of providers have started to bring in charges.
12 top tips to keep roaming charges down
1) Since July 2014 you can use a different provider. You can have a contract with one operator, for national services, and another with a separate operator, for roaming, so check if this may be a better option.
2) For safety turn roaming off! Phones will always try and connect to any signal so you could be connected without even knowing! When out and about make use of any free Wi-Fi, saving picking up voicemails for example.
3) If you’re not using Wi-Fi, avoid using data-heavy activities such as watching videos, updating social media with photos or downloading music. If you are checking emails, avoid opening large attachments.
4) Most providers now offer roaming add ons at a discounted rate which may be worth purchasing. So this allows you extra allowance at no further charge. Depends how much you think you will use your phone abroad. Check with your provider before you go as to how these work and that they apply to the country you are visiting. Also confirm when they will be activated on your account.
5) Switch off the data roaming facility on your phone and put it back on when you actually know you want to use it. If you don’t do this before you leave the UK, your smartphone will automatically seek out an internet connection when you reach your destination and you may start using data without realising it. Make sure that functions such as wifi assist have been also been turned off as they put you on the network without informing the user.
6) Check with your provider that you can turn off voicemail if you don’t think you will need it and be sure to put it back on when you arrive back.
7) If you think you will need to use your phone at sea, check with your provider before you travel how much it will cost to use your phone via a satellite connection.
9) Explore buying a local pay-as-you-go SIM card when you arrive. You’ll have a different ‘phone number but you will only pay local prices. Roaming charges will still apply if you want to make a call or send a text back to your home country using a local SIM. Check with your operator to make sure you can use another SIM with your ‘phone.
10) Use free wi fi where it is available such as the hotel, bars and cafes etc and make sure you are logged in.
11) If you need to phone anyone use apps like Skype and Facetime which are free! Think about what you might like to listen to or read before you go on holiday. Download everything using your own network before you fly!
12) Keep an eye on your provider’s free use policy. Some providers add a charge for using all data allowance (although still free for calls and texts).
How to complain effectively
Ombudsman Services says that almost 30% of complaints they receive about mobile phone services are about billing and data roaming. It’s often the case that customers do not fully understand the implications of opting out of the cap or read the notifications so it asks for proof from providers they have been sent.
Those they take on generally fall into one of the following categories:
* disputed data roaming charges or “bill shock”;
* service failures while roaming; and
* a company failing to cap a customer’s usage or send usage notifications.
It says, “If the provider has followed the rules then the customer usually has to pay. It is sometimes possible to get the provider to reduce the bill, but there is no compunction on them to do so.”
101 Habits of an Effective Complainer will help you develop skills to become better at complaining