Vodafone is the UK’s second major mobile network to cut charges for customers traveling to Europe
Free roaming appeared in June 2017, when the UK was still part of the EU, meaning people could use a reasonable amount of their existing plan in other European countries without being stung by additional costs.
Brexit meant operators could re-impose fees, although the four major ones – EE, O2, Three and Vodafone – have said they have no plans to do so.
We tell you what the change means for your mobile bill when traveling abroad.
– Who will it affect?
New Vodafone customers joining on or after August 11.
While this does not include existing customers, anyone who upgrades and renews their contract from the same date will also have to pay (so if your contract ends and you leave it unchanged, you will not be subject to the new rules).
But the charges do not come into effect until January 6, 2022.
And anyone on the company’s Xtra plans will not be affected by the move.
– What are the costs?
A daily charge of £ 2 will apply to use all of your EE data, minutes and SMS allowance when traveling to affected EU countries.
However, there are multi-day passes that can be purchased in advance that cost £ 1 per day – these are available for eight-day or 15-day packages.
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.
Ernest Doku, Uswitch.com
– Which countries does it include?
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, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Martin , Sweden, Switzerland and Vatican City.
– And the other networks?
BT-owned EE has announced plans to reintroduce roaming charges for Europe in June, starting at £ 2 a day – although it also offers packages that can lower 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.
O2 opted for 25 GB.
– What should I do to avoid the fees?
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 travel, don’t wait until the last minute to check roaming charges for your destination and always use the hotel and cafe wifi when you’re on vacation,” warned Ernest Doku, mobile expert at Uswitch.com.
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