Mobile phone companies will no longer be able to sting customers with huge bills for using their phones abroad thanks to a new ruling.
New rules mean that mobile users will be automatically cut off when their monthly bill for using the internet within Europe reaches £41 or 50 euros.
The move comes after holidaymakers complained that they were returning to massive phone bills but their providers were not warning them of the extra charges involved with roaming.
According to the Daily Mail some victims of the ash cloud that saw flights across Europe grounded for several days were presented with bills for as much as £7,000.
But now, following an EU decision, an automatic cap will be placed on customers when they are abroad, unless they specifically ask their company not to do so.
Commenting on the new roaming cut-off mechanism, Mike Wilson, mobiles manager at moneysupermarket.com, said: "Finally, a rule just in time to help the many Brits who will be going abroad for their summer holidays. This regulation will make a big difference to how people use their phones abroad and will go a long way to reducing confusion over roaming charges.
“If €50 isn't right for them consumers have a call to action to speak to their provider and set a realistic cut-off point for their individual circumstances and usage. €50 is generally enough to handle emails with attachments, keep up with Twitter and do some browsing. Depending on your provider it may stretch to some light downloading as well."
Telecom expert for customer group Consumer Focus, Nick Hutton, said: “Holidaymakers should bring back a sun-tan and souvenirs, not a shocking bill. EU mobile costs do come down in July but are still high enough to catch people out.”
However, he has also reminded that mobile phone tariffs do not cover usage abroad. Travellers need to remember that inclusive minutes and texts won’t apply abroad, he said, and services that are free at home like receiving calls will cost money abroad.
“The 50 euro data cap is a welcome safety net, but people should decide if they need to alter it before they go.”
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