EU to end 'rip off' roaming charges
As of July this year, mobile phone firms will be forced to lower the prices of making a call or downloading data abroad under new rules agreed by the European Parliament.
From then, we will pay no more than 24p per minute to make a call and 59p per megabyte for data downloads across Europe as the EU bids to stop consumers getting nasty bill-shaped surprises after falling foul of ludicrously high roaming charges.
"Consumers are fed up with being ripped off," said commissioner Neelie Kroes, who added: "The new roaming deal gives us a long-term structural solution with lower prices, more choice and a new smart approach for data and internet browsing."
At the moment, the limit on what can be charged for making a call is around 30p and sending a text 9p. However, there's no cap on what companies can charge per megabyte of data. That's where people are getting stung. And as of July 2014, we'll all now be able to shop around for the best deal and sign up for a separate mobile contract using their existing number when going abroad. With the whole of Europe competing with each other, expect prices to gradually fall.
In addition to all this, from this summer, we'll also get a text, email or pop-up, warning us when we get to 50 euros/£41 worth of data downloads.