It’s officially July and if you have children that means one thing: summer holidays are nearly here. If you’re trapped in to holidaying outside of term time, then the good news is your official get-away countdown can start right about now. Wimbledon is around the corner and we can almost smell that sun cream.
We all know that getting away at this time of year can be ridiculously expensive. Mention summer holidays and prices seem to magically double, almost overnight. If the cost of travel, hotels and “spends” isn’t enough to make you think about re-mortgaging, there’s also the worry about bill shock when it comes to your mobile phone.
Ah, but that’s a thing of the past, we hear you say, thanks to the Roam Like Home legislation introduced last month. Surely?
Sadly, as is often the case with these things, nothing is quite as it seems.
New EU rules were meant to see an end to hefty roaming charges, which would mean holidaymakers within the EU would no longer pay additional fees for making calls, sending texts or using their mobile data. However, the small print states those who have an unlimited or competitively priced allowance could still face extra charges, assuming they exceed a certain threshold.
The reality is that if you have unlimited minutes and texts whilst in the UK, those are going to be honoured whilst in the rest of the EU. However, a fair usage policy could be applied when it comes to data. If the arbitrary cap is exceeded (and it could be as low as 2GB or worse for some tariffs) you could find yourself being charged £7.80 per GB.
Thankfully it remains to be seen whether providers will actually charge these fees, but it is important to note that they have the legal right to do so. Do not lull yourself in to a false sense of security by believing the hype that all charges have now been abolished. Before you travel make sure you have fully read your contract, and if necessary speak to your provider directly for advice that is specific to you.
If you have any doubt about where you stand, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and we will be more than happy to provide you with advice.
What about Brexit?
A little over a year since we voted to leave the EU, this issue still hangs heavy over many of our everyday lives. As things stand, whilst we remain a member, European laws with regards to roaming and data charges will still apply.
What happens afterwards will depend largely on what is agreed during the Brexit negotiations. If no alternative arrangement is put in place before we officially leave, then it’s entirely possible operators will be free to charge whatever they want to customers roaming within the territory.