Roaming charges in EU since 15 JUN 17

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Tramor01 5 Jan 2018
at 15:17

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)

  • capetonianm

    I had lunch the other day with 4 other reasonably intelligent people and there was a discussion about the above since we had different understandings.

    I thought that the new roaming rules meant that if you are in (e.g) Italy, with a UK phone, calls that you make to the UK are included in your allowance, and calls that you receive from anywhere are free. The same applies to SMSs. I also thought that if you are in Italy and you call another EU country (except UK) that call is also included in your allowance.

    Two of the others thought that as per the wording on O2’s site : ” …. for our Classic Pay As You Go tariffs, you’ll be charged in our Europe Zone in the same way as you would be at home.” If you were ‘at home’ and you made a call from the UK to Italy, it would be charged as an international call and thus not free. Consequent upon that, they thought that if you were in Italy and you made a local call within Italy, or to (e.g) Germany, it would be charged as an international call at the same rate as if you called from UK > Germany.

    Further on, apparently included are : “Making calls and sending texts within our Europe Zone (excluding the UK), to any other country in our Europe Zone (including the UK). Receiving calls and texts in our Europe Zone.”

    This means that I can take my UK phone to any other EU country and call within the entire EU and it is included in my allowance, this creating what seems to me to be an anomalous situation that whereas if I am in UK I pay for a call to another EU country, if I am in any other EU country, my calls to the rest of the EU are included.

    (Caveat : Fair usage rules apply)


    I travel to/from Spain frequently, I have a UK (Orange/EE) pay as you go SIM, up until mid June the tariff for calls from Spain, and rest of EU, to UK, was 0.04p per minute, incoming calls free, text 0.01p per minute, MMS for 0.04p

    From 15th June these charges rocketed to 0.40p per minute to make calls, texts 0.15p each, applicable throughout EU as far as I know, certainly in Austria where I am now. Unsure what the effect is on contract rates/allowances, but the message from EE when I arrived in Austria said that “if you have a bundle you can now use your allowance at no extra cost. If you don’t have a bundle standard UK rates apply”

    I think I shall be using Skype and WhatsApp more in the future.

    Tom Otley

    It’s very confusing. I arrived today in Stockholm and had the following text…

    “You’re probably expecting a text about roaming charges – but no! You’re in one of our Roam-free destinations so you can now use the minutes, texts & data from your plan while abroad to stay in contact with friends & family back in the UK and in SWEDEN at no extra cost. Go to for info and terms. Stay safe while abroad, if you need the emergency services call 112.”


    “Europe zone” implies this is a benefit of being part of Europe or is it a benefit for being part of the EU ?? Depending on which is the correct answer will provide an indication of what may/could/will/perhaps happen in a couple of years.

    I use EE business tariff and my understanding is:

    *calls within most of Europe are included (both ways)
    *I have an add on Business zone call package which includes calls to Australia, Gibraltar and 10 other useful and useless (for me) countries
    *I am on my way to the States where my calls to and from UK are included. But I have added a 120 minute add on (£20) to allow calls from US to Europe which are not included in my package.


    I think Tom Otley’s text from Vodafone is the correct situation in any EU country. I had no problem in Paris (on O2) on 17th June to the UK ‘though didn’t need to call within France, and no additional costs.


    I use Virgin Mobile PAYG when in the EU and pay 2p / min outgoing throughout the EU and all incoming calls are free. Data roaming is ridiculously expensive though so don’t use it.


    LP. I think those charges should have disappeared since 15 JUN.


    Whether in part it depends on the phone / wifi connection or just sheer luck… I recently changed (very reluctantly) from the Blackberry passport (that’s another story) to Samsung S8+. I am absolutely amazed with the quality of the WhatsApp voice calls, in some cases far better call quality than normal voice calls. It works well whether near a wifi connection or using standard data & even using a wifi connection in the air. I am currently in the US and have not yet used any of my paid for allowances for calls back to Europe.

    Only problem with WhatsApp calls is calls may drop if you have an incoming WhatsApp message or email, during a call.

    With my Blackberry, the WhatsApp calls were never that clear..

    Just a way to save roaming costs…

    ..and, it doesn’t appear to eat away your data allowance, unless you switch on the video …


    Martyn I told you the phone you were using previously was used by Noah to call the animals to the ark, so you have finally seen the light….

    To the OP’s point, yes it is very confusing what is meant by the European Opcos. Here in Asia with my carrier it is simple, I pay $10 for a data passport this allows free usage of data wherever I roam including Europe and America, I therefore use Whats app and do not pay any roaming voice charges whatsoever, and will only pay if someone calls me but we now have people calling by WhatsApp taking away the need to have voice roaming at all…


    I wonder if any of you can throw some light on this, or make some sense of it.

    I have just had a large bill from one of my EU cellphone providers (with whom I closed my account last week for other reasons), mostly for internet use whilst within other EU countries. It caused me to go over the data limit and they have charged me accordingly, which would be fine if it were correct but there are a number of overlapping sessions and sessions of extremely long duration which appear to be incorrect, for example :
    0847 3h02m20s which would go up to 1149, but there are other sessions timed at 0932, 0935 (of 5h50m10s, which would go up to 1455),1004, 1014, and many other similar examples.

    I should add that I have never used social media, streaming, or downloading.

    In summary, if I’ve had a 5h50 session (which seems impossible), how can there be other sessions within that time frame?

    They have also charged me for calls made within the EU to normal numbers (i.e not premium or special numbers) whilst ‘roaming’ whereas others have not been charged, so there seems to be no logic. For example a domestic call in NL was charged but one I made 5 minutes later to Ireland was free.

    I need to know if there’s any sort of logical explanation as I don’t know how these things work, but logic tells me it must be wrong. I have written to the company concerned and am waiting for a reply.


    There’s something wrong there Capetonian. You should only be charged for one session.

    Since my last post here, I’m indeed now charged 35p per minute but data and text are included in my package so no charge there. However, in Switzerland the charges go up to 75p and no free data as Switzerland is not part of the EU. I’ve also just received a text saying from Nov 1 all calls will now be subject to VAT.


    A vast majority of Cabin and Flight crew now use Three for their provider. They have a service called Feel At Home. It covers the destinations below. You just use your phone as if in the UK, with no other charges. This works for text, data and calls.I have had for several years and it is great.

    Czech Republic
    Isle of Man
    Channel Islands (Guernsey and Jersey)
    Sri Lanka
    New Zealand
    Hong Kong
    Republic of Ireland


    I think that Three simply preceded the edict of the EU, since all operators are now supposed to operate EU (+) roaming.

    As always when the EU interferes, it creates distortions. In order to make up for the revenue they lose on ‘roaming’ calls, they’ve upped their charges for international calls made from the home country.

    O2, for exampl,e who are my UK provider, charge £0.80-1.50 for international calls.


    @capetonianm – is their any chance your phone was picking up two signals & being charged accordingly. The only way to establish would be to ask the provider for a breakdown of the data charges and actual data used. Were you close to any borders (especially no EU borders) at the time…?


    Martyn : Apparently it’s not possible for a single SIM to pick up two sessions simultaneously. At least that’s what I was told by someone at Vodacom South Africa – this case has nothing to do with them but I am a customer of theirs and I have a good technical contact there so asked him for advice. I’ve written to the provider concerned and asked for an explanation.

    I think I know what may have happened at one point, it may have picked up a maritime network as at one point I was on a ship in Irish waters but very close to the shore. I’m going to let the provider do the spadework though, it may be more trouble than it’s worth for them and they may just give up.

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