The Hidden Costs of Free EU Roaming charges
The EU made an announcement this week stating there will no longer be roaming charges in the EU.
This will mean if you are travelling anywhere within the EU you will be charged the same in an EU country as you would at home to make calls and texts. However there are some conditions to the new free EU Roaming agreement you need to know before you set off on your travels.
What countries are included?
All 28 EU countries are included in the Free EU Roaming Charges. Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland who are not in the EU but part of the European Economic Area are not part of the agreement now but are planning to introduce free EU roaming in the future. Other countries such as Monaco, Switzerland and the Isle of Man may not be included depending on your service provider and the phone package you are on.
Calling or texting another European Country
These phone calls will be treated the same as if you are at home. There will be tariffs but it will be cheaper than it ever has been before. Check with your phone provider for these rates.
Some data is included (but is limited)
While phone calls and texts are included in the new EU roaming initiative, data is different. Phone providers are not obliged to give you the same allowance abroad as they would at home. If you are planning on travelling and wish to use your data check with your service provider to see what are the limitations. Otherwise you could face a hefty bill once as you return home. My advice is to continue to change your phone settings to roaming when travelling to avoid using data excessively.
Fair usage applies
Calls and texts will now be charged the same in every EU country however a fair usage policy applies. If you travel in the EU a lot for work or are planning on trying to cheat the system by buying a cheaper phone in another EU country BEWARE! If you are using your phone abroad at an excessive rate you could be charged extra for your calls and texts. These charges will be the same as previous roaming charge rates.
Travelling by boat in the EU
If you are travelling by boat and are crossing different durastrictions, you may also be charged fees as certain international waters are not included in the EU free roaming. My advice is to wait to make calls and texts until you reach land.
Is the UK included in free EU Roaming?
At preset the UK will benefit from free EU roaming however this may change once BREXIT comes into effect.
Do I need to contact my service provider in advance?
Your network will automatically detect if you are in another country and will send you a text to remind you of the fair usage policy. All you need to do is enjoy your travels in the EU. 👍