The fight on roaming costs in the EU is still ever present. While Parliament wanted to ban roaming charges altogether in 2015, the presidency has suggested a two-year transition period from 2016, with an outright ban slated for December 2018. As we head into holiday season, numerous European Press have their complaints.
But in the recent survey by USwitch there is an indication the British don’t know which countries are even included within regulated EU. A quarter of those surveyed were under the impression that the EU is still planning to scrap roaming charges this year. A lack of awareness around roaming parameters of the EU, with more than four in ten admitting they incorrectly believe Turkey is an EU country. More than one in ten of the sample thought that African holiday destinations Morocco and Egypt are within the EU.
Brits who don’t know their Algeria from their EU are being hit with £573 million in mobile roaming charges when abroad. For dozy holidaymakers – confused by the massive range of nations who take part in the Eurovision Song Contest – are using smartphones in countries outside the Eurozone. And the error is costing them an average of £61 in extra smartphone charges with one in six being hit with £100 on top of their regular fee. A study by website uSwitch found Turkey causes the biggest bill shock as four in ten Brits think it is in the European Union while one in ten think North African nations like Morocco and Egypt are also part of the EU.
Despite the introduction of EU-wide mobile roaming caps designed to protect UK holidaymakers, one in SIX Britons are forced to pay £100 or more after returning from holiday. The extra charges to British mobile phone owners amounts to £573 million collectively, a survey has revealed.
The average Briton is slapped with an extra charge of £61 on-top of their normal bill – although this rises to £72 for 18 to 34-year-olds. It’s disappointing and frustrating that the EU has delayed taking action. Holidaymakers who go to an EU country and opt-out of the roaming cap can quickly amass a roaming bill of more than £74 in just two weeks.
The survey was commissioned by online and telephone comparison and switching service, uSwitch.com. A fifth of UK mobile users have been hit with roaming charges in the last year – in spite of caps on roaming charges imposed by the EU and implemented by UK networks, it revealed.
EU data roaming – it’s like a game where you always lose. Now, if you’re amazed that national European smartphone plans don’t carry over into neighboring countries – and this in 2015! – well, so is everyone in Europe. Because it was all supposed to stop by the end of this year… until suddenly it wasn’t. DW’s Digital Europe correspondent Kate Hairsine doesn’t like it one bit.