Vodafone became the second major UK network to reintroduce roaming charges for UK customers traveling to Europe from next year.
New and upgrading customers will soon have to pay up to £ 2 per day to use their monthly data, calls and SMS allowance, at the latest post-Brexit blow.
Vodafone follows in the footsteps of EE, owned by BT, which was the first to announce the reintroduction of roaming charges in June.
Roaming charges when traveling across Europe ended in June 2017, allowing consumers to continue using their mobile plan in other EU countries at no additional cost, with a fair usage limit .
Vodafone roaming charges: will I be affected?
New Vodafone customers who register from August 11 will be affected by the change.
It doesn’t include existing customers and anyone on the company’s Xtra plans, however if someone upgrades and renews their contract from August 11, they’ll have to pay as well.
So if your contract ends and you leave it running and unchanged, you won’t fall under the new rules.
The charges do not come into effect until January 6, 2022.
How much are Vodafone roaming charges?
A daily charge of £ 2 will apply to use all of your EE data, minutes and SMS allowance when traveling to affected EU countries.
But there are multi-day passes that can be purchased in advance that cost £ 1 per day – they’re available for eight-day or 15-day packages.
Subscribers to the company’s more expensive Xtra plans will still have roaming included, while the Republic of Ireland will be exempt for all customers.
Vodafone said less than half of its customers were roaming beyond the Republic of Ireland in 2019.
In which countries will I now be billed for roaming on Vodafone?
Charges will apply to European destinations, although the Republic of Ireland is exempt.
The complete list within Vodafone’s “Europe zone” includes: Aland Islands, Austria, Azores, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus except Cyprus North, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France (including Corsica), French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Réunion, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, St Barthélemy, St Martin, Sweden, Switzerland and Vatican City.
Which UK telephone networks charge for roaming?
owned by BT EE has announced plans to reintroduce roaming charges for Europe in June, from £ 2 per day – although EE also offers packages to reduce the overall cost.
O2 and Three have so far avoided going down the same path and are sticking to fair use limits, which is not unusual as it complies with current EU rules.
Three’s fair use cap was lowered from 20GB to 12GB per month in July – and O2 has a 25GB limit.
Paolo Pescatore, analyst for PP Foresight, said consumers should expect others to follow suit.
“Phone users will now need to be more aware when traveling on board,” he said.
“Some will have roaming included in more expensive plans and premium devices, while others will be forced to consider switching to wifi and subscribing to local e-sim options.”
How to avoid roaming charges in the EU?
Vodafone customers should consider adding the eight or 15 day passes for longer trips to EU countries, which will reduce the daily cost to £ 1.
Nowadays, many hotels and restaurants offer free wifi, so make good use of it.
You may want to consider switching to another network provider.
Make sure data roaming is turned off in your smartphone settings when in doubt to avoid unpleasant surprises. Or finally, turn off your phone completely and enjoy your trip without any disruption.
“When it comes to traveling, don’t wait until the last minute to check roaming charges for your destination, and always use the hotel’s wifi and cafe when you’re on vacation whenever possible.” , warned Ernest Doku, mobile expert at Uswitch.com.
What did Vodafone say about the latest roaming charges?
“Rather than having all of our customers affected by including additional roaming costs in all of our tariffs, customers will be able to choose a plan with roaming included, or purchase an additional roaming pass,” a spokesperson said.
They added: “Our ambition is to ensure that customers never experience a ‘bill shock’ when roaming with Vodafone, as all of our plans and packages will have clear usage limits, and customers will also be able to set their own limits via Vodafone Expense Manager, which is free to configure via the My Vodafone app. “
Those that remain on their current rate plan will not be affected until they make changes.