The new Eurotariff, which offers UK mobile phone users cheaper calls when ringing home from abroad is still causing confusion for many customers.
MEPs, (Members of the European Parliament), who have been planning to impose caps on roaming charges for some months, have now brought in strict regulations enforcing cheaper tariffs across all networks.
However, according to SimplySwitch.com, many customers were unsure which charges applied over the summer months. Indeed, three of the big seven network providers were unable to inform customers exactly when the new tariff would be implemented. According to the comparison service, some operators, such as Vodafone and 3 mobile, avoided launching the new tariff right up to the cut-off date on July 31.
“With the British summer being a washout this year, many Brits have opted for overseas holidays. It’s a shame that so many have missed out on savings which could have been introduced far earlier,” said SImplySwitch.com representative Karen Darby.
The company’s survey revealed that three-quarters of UK mobile owners were unsure about charges for making and receiving calls when overseas. One-quarter named extra charges as the biggest criticism of their network and almost two-thirds said they would change networks if offered a more cost-effective tariff.
Head of mobiles at moneysupermarket.com, Rob Barnes, drew attention to the fact that 3 mobile have set their new roaming charges below the EU rate: the cost of making a call is 34 per cent lower and the cost of receiving a call is 47 per cent lower. He hopes this may prompt other providers to follow suit.
“By introducing lower rates, 3 has demonstrated that calls do not have to be priced at the ceiling of the cap and will hopefully force other operators to reduce their tariffs,” he said.
Ms Darby said of the new Eurotariff: “Excessive mobile phone charges have been stinging travellers for far too long so this legislation is great news for customers and could save the public millions.”
“However, I would advise anyone who hasn’t yet accepted an early offer from their operator to do their research before they go abroad. Unless an initial offer was accepted, customers may still be on higher roaming rates until the automatic switch over at the end of September.”
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