Vodafone joins EE in reintroducing roaming charges for customers travelling in the EU next year – with users facing £2-a-day cost
- Vodafone is the next firm to re-introduce roaming charges for customers in EU
- EE previously revealed it will also be asking consumers to pay again
- Charging users was banned under EU law but after Brexit, this is no longer the case
Vodafone will start charging customers roaming fees again with consumers facing paying £2-a-day to use their monthly allowance in Europe.
The network joins EE in re-introducing the charges after the UK left the EU.
Customers will have to start paying from January 2022 although some will be able to cut the cost to £1-a-day by paying for a multi-day pass.
Mobile firms were banned from charging customers extra fees to use their UK allowance of minutes, texts and data in Europe while the UK was still part of the EU.
Vodafone will start charging customers roaming fees with consumers paying out £2 a day
However, now the post-Brexit transition is over, these rules no longer apply.
Vodafone’s new £2-a-day flat fee will apply to any customers who sign up to a new contract or renew their existing one on or after 11 August 2021, unless they opt for one of its ‘4 Xtra’ tariffs, which include roaming.
The new charge will not come into force until 6 January and customers can continue to roam for free, subject to a fair usage policy of 25GB per month, until then.
The fair usage policy sets a limit on how much customers can use without being charged extra fees.
If you are an existing Vodafone customer, you will not affected by these charges straight away, but will be when you renew your contract or change plans.
Consumers will also have the option of buying longer ‘roaming passes’ letting them use their home allowance in Europe.
For example, an eight-day pass will cost £8 while a 15-day pass will cost £15.
A Vodafone spokesperson said: ‘We are changing the number of plans that include roaming in our Europe Zone as standard.
‘Roaming, in Europe and beyond, will still be included at no extra cost in selected plans, and new roaming passes at £1 per day will be introduced.
‘Existing customers will not be impacted by these changes while they remain on their current price plan, and roaming in the Republic of Ireland will still be included for all customers.
Now the post-Brexit transition is over, mobile networks can charge for roaming abroad again
‘Fewer than half of our customers roamed beyond the Republic of Ireland in 2019.
‘Rather than have all of our customers affected by including the additional costs of roaming into all of our tariffs, customers will be able to choose a plan that comes with roaming included, or purchase an additional roaming pass.’
‘Our ambition is to ensure customers don’t ever experience “bill shock” when roaming with Vodafone, because all of our plans and passes will have clear usage caps.’
EE also previously revealed it will charge new customers, and those upgrading from July 7, a £2 daily fee from January 2022.
Though it does not include existing customers, anyone who upgrades and renews their contract from the same date will also have to pay.
O2 also revealed customers will be charged £3.50 for every gigabyte used over 25GB – but this means any usage up until this amount will be under their normal plan and not charged extra.
However, Three has not yet announced any plans to change its policy, although it has reduced its fair cap usage from 20GB to 12GB.
This means customers using more than this will be charged.
Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at Uswitch, said: ‘Any reintroduction of roaming charges means that consumers are paying a fee to use data and minutes they have already paid for.
‘In the aftermath of Brexit, the UK’s biggest mobile providers all said that they had no immediate plans to change their charging models for consumers roaming within the EU.
‘It’s disappointing for consumers to see that the situation looks to be shifting, with a risk that roaming at no additional cost could soon be a distant memory for UK residents.
‘When it comes to travelling, don’t leave it till the last minute to check the roaming charges for your destination, and always use hotel and cafe Wi-Fi when on holiday where possible.’
Customers are urged to be careful how much data they use when travelling abroad.
This is Money recently reported on a customer who found himself with a bill of £8,500 from O2 after using the internet liberally in Kazakhstan.