EU reduces roaming charges

Travellers will no longer be hit with roaming charges when using their phones in countries within the EU. 

The announcement, made today, means British mobile phone users will be able to make phone calls, send text messages and use data in other European Union Countries without increased bills. 

Customers exceeding agreed allowances for minutes, texts and data will still be charged as they would in the UK. 

It’s part of the Roam Like Home legislation, which aims to prevent customers from being hit with huge bills after using their phones abroad.  

According to data from Uswitch, 20% of British mobile phone users faced higher bills after a trip to the EU.

On average roaming charges cost holidaymakers an average of £61 last year.

In a joint statement issued by the European Commission, the institutions said the announcement about the scrap, effective from 15th June, was a “success story”. 

They added: 

From now on, citizens who travel within the EU will be able to call, text and connect on their mobile devices at the same price as they pay at home.”

They said the institutions have been working hard over the past ten years to fix what is considered a “market failure”.

The EU has stated that the decision has come after working closely together to deliver a concrete and positive result for European citizens.

The statement continued: “We are proud that the EU has put an end to very high roaming prices and thankful to those who showed the determination to overcome the many challenges and pursue this goal.

“The end of roaming charges is at the foundation of the EU’s Digital Single Market and is another step towards building a united and sustainable European digital society, accessible for all our citizens.”

Christine Taylor, who runs the Wey Valley Theatre & Travel Club and was our Group Travel Organiser of the Year 2016, welcomed the news and said it was a “game-changer” for travellers. 

She added: “It’s brilliant and means people won’t have to always rely on the Wi-Fi, which will make a difference.

“I organise a number of trips within Europe each year and travellers aren’t always aware of the roaming charges so this news is fantastic.” 

Read the full statement here.