People of Kent pay for French roaming on their phones

11 March 2013

Poor sods in a Kent village are finding an ugly surprise in their phone bills after they find they've been hit with roaming charges because they're being connected to French networks.

When at St Margaret's at Cliffe and St Margaret's Bay near Dover, residents and visitors find their phones saying "Welcome to France", which would be awful news if you're an old xenophobe or thoroughly modern racist.

Phones have 'roamed' to networks like Orange F and SFR, even though they might be sat in their house, reading Twitter while having a poo.

A spokesman from phone company EE said customers should switch off roaming, which is the obvious thing to do, especially as no phone company is likely to get around to sorting the problem out for you.

Apparently, the bay is blocked by the white cliffs from receiving UK signals and thanks to certain conditions, you end up getting connected to French networks.

Nigel Wydymus, landlord of the Coastguard pub, told the BBC: "We are a little telecommunications enclave of France here. It did not cause a huge amount of trouble for a few years with mobile phones because you got a message saying welcome to France, but since smartphones have come in it's more of a problem."

"Obviously people strolling along the beach in England do not expect to be on a French network and so, unlike when they get off the plane in Spain or elsewhere, they haven't switched off their data roaming and it causes some extra bills."

Sometimes, making a call on a French network can cost you four times what it would using a network in the UK. Stay vigilant you, Kent.

TOPICS:   Cool Stuff   Mobile

4 comments

  • Inspector G.
    This must happen ALL THE TIME in countries that arn't island nations (ie the rest of the world), what do they do everywhere else?
  • Johnny
    Try living in Northern Ireland close to the border with the Republic. My house is a least 5 miles away from the border and Vodafone IE would be my phones network of choice, if I didnt have the roaming turned off.
  • Dick
    The lack of a picture caption makes this story very uninteresting.
  • Euan
    " the bay is blocked by the white cliffs from receiving UK signals" ... presumably it's beyond the mobile companies to install a mast that actually does cover the bay with a UK signal then?

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