Since the end of the Brexit transition period in December 2020, UK mobile phone operators have been allowed to reintroduce so-called roaming charges to their customers. This means that for some, if their provider decides to charge extra for usage abroad, the much-enjoyed free data roaming services will end. Therefore, travellers could expect to see an increase to their holiday budgets to cover the cost of internet usage, as well as calls and texts home.
Under previous ‘Roam Like at Home’ rules, introduced by the European Union (EU), British tourists could use their UK minutes, texts, and data allowance in EU countries under their usual UK mobile plan, without incurring any additional charges.
However, some of the largest phone providers, including Three, Vodafone, and EE have recently said that they will be reintroducing roaming charges for those visiting Europe in 2022 for new and upgrading customers. It is thought that Vodafone’s new charges will apply from January 2022, EE’s from March, and Three’s from May.
However, Virgin Media and O2 have said that they currently have no plans to reintroduce additional roaming fees. While this is good news for Virgin and O2 customers, it’s worth being aware that this stance could change in the future.
In order to protect British tourists from any unexpected mobile charges, the government introduced legislation from January 1, 2021. The legislation limits the amount of mobile data consumers can use by accident to £45 while abroad. This means that tourists will be alerted if they spend £45 on data while abroad and won’t be able to continue using the mobile data service unless they agree to the additional costs. The government has also put measures in place to ensure that consumers receive alerts when they are at 80% and 100% data usage.
Anyone with concerns over charges they could incur overseas should check with their mobile provider directly.
Additionally, anyone taking a mobile phone on holiday should make sure they have adequate insurance in place to protect their phone – whether this protection is under an individual mobile phone insurance policy or a general travel insurance policy.
It is important to note, mobile phones aren’t always covered under a travel insurance policy as standard. Therefore, anyone who needs this type of protection should check whether the policy includes cover for phones and/or gadgets automatically or if they need to buy an extension. Travellers should also check whether there are any cover limits or restrictions in the policy being purchased. For example, how much can be claimed for a stolen or damaged phone, and whether the age of the device plays a factor in the amount that can be claimed.
As always, we’re here to help with any concerns you may have. So, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and our team will do their very best to assist!