Vodafone customers traveling to Europe will soon be shocked by new charges for using their smartphone. The UK network has just announced that it is following EE in reintroducing these controversial charges which could add up to £ 56 to a family’s monthly cell phone bill.
Vodafone has confirmed that the new fees will come into effect next January and will apply to anyone who takes out a smartphone plan or SIM card with the company after August 11th.
This means that as long as customers stick to their current tariff – or upgrade within the next few days – they will not be billed for the new EU roaming fee.
It was hoped EU roaming charges wouldn’t return after Brexit, as all major networks confirmed last year that they had no plans to bring those charges back for consumers, but Vodafone now says it is making the changes to giving people more choice in what they pay for.
“The majority of our customers are not regular Roamers,” said Ahmed Essam, CEO of Vodafone. “In fact, fewer than half of our customers roamed outside of the Republic of Ireland in 2019. And the reality is that including roaming – a service that costs us money – in any tariff means that more than half of our customers are paying for something they don’t use. What is free for one person usually has to be paid for by another. “
Anyone affected by the fee will get £ 2 per day on their bill when using their devices in places like Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Germany.
Along with customers who do not switch plans after August 11th, some Xtra plan contracts will also be made available that include access to 83 worldwide destinations. This means that customers who register will not have to pay any additional costs for using their device abroad.
Vodafone has also confirmed that it will offer eight- and 15-day passes, which can be purchased in advance and cost £ 1 per day instead of the usual £ 2.
Speaking of changes analyst Paolo Pescatore said: “The harsh realities of Brexit are becoming more and more apparent. Wholesale roaming charges will change when the UK leaves, which in turn will inevitably lead to higher prices without EU protection. It’s a pretty straightforward decision for UK telecommunications companies.
“All telecommunications companies are struggling with tight margins and are looking for ways to increase sales while investing billions in expensive next-generation fixed and mobile networks.
“One salvation for phone users is that telecommunications companies have taken steps to avoid unexpected billing shocks.”
Of course, Vodafone isn’t the only network making changes to its roaming plans as EE will also charge £ 2 per day for device usage in Europe from January 2022. Again, this price change affects all new customers and those who upgrade their current offer – customers who stick to their current offer will not be affected by the new fee.
After all, anyone with a O2 SIM on their phone is restricted by a fair use policy which means they cannot exceed 25GB of data while outside the UK.
As long as the user stays within this limit there is nothing to pay for other than watching movies one after the other at the end of your two week break and things could get expensive.
That’s because a charge of £ 3.50 for every additional 1 GB is then added to the bills. As an example of how much this could cost, a Full HD movie is around 4GB, so a night before a movie would cost £ 14.