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Mobile roaming costs slashed under new EU rules

The cost of using data abroad falls by a third


The cost of making a mobile phone call in Europe will drop today as new EU rules come into force.

A price cap on downloading data means that looking at maps, checking emails and sending pictures while travelling in EU countries will be 36% cheaper, and 91% cheaper compared to 2007.

The cost of making mobile phone calls or using the internet outside a person’s own country, known as roaming, has traditionally been very high.

Overall the European Commission said it has achieved retail price reductions across calls, SMS and data of over 80% since 2007.

The new roaming regulations mean the maximum cost of making a call will fall by a fifth to just over 20p a minute. 

The cost of data will fall to about 39p per megabyte. The cost of sending a text will fall by 11% to 7p.

Excessive mobile phone bills

Many mobile phone users have been shocked by high bills after trips to the EU in the past, despite caps in roaming costs since 2007.

If you’ve received a high bill when abroad and wish to challenge it you should first get in touch with your service provider in writing, explaining which charges you think are incorrect and why.

If you capped your mobile usage as part of your mobile phone contract, you have a right to refuse to pay. Charging you for anything over and above the agreed cap would be a breach of contract.

Go to the ombudsman

If your service provider decides not to refund you, and you feel that the charges really are unfair, or were not made clear, you can take your complaint to an Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme.

There are two approved schemes, CICAS and the Ombudsman Services: Communications.

The ombudsman will come to an independent decision after reviewing both sides of the complaint. If you’re successful, you will receive compensation.

If you want to complain to the ombudsman about your mobile phone provider, you can use our step-by-step guide.

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