Vodafone scrap roaming charges for the Summer - wholesome caring goodness or cynical diversion tactic?
Either a Summer holiday means your frugal spidy-sense is more heightened than ever - you're even more acutely aware of how many pennies you're spending when not at home - or you don't give two shits, the holiday starts as soon as you hit the airport and it's beer and full English breakfasts all the way. So you're either somebody who'll switch their mobile off when they go abroad, fearful of service providers sucking the money out of your bank account with a cartoon vacuum contraption, or you'll happily call and text home from Lineker's Bar at three in the morning after your nineteenth Jägerbomb.
Well, good news for both the tight fisted and loosed lipped, but only if you're on Vodafone; from June 1st, all roaming charges across Europe will be dropped. Woah there, cowboy. All? Pretty much - you'll still have to pay for data, but otherwise a call or text from abroad to the UK will cost no more than it would if made domestically. All Vodafone Pay As You Go and Pay Monthly customers will benefit, as long as they’ve opted into the free Passport scheme.
The deal-breaker is a three month trial initially, to cover off the summer months. The cynic might say that's a move to keep current owners tied into contracts and attract new customers during a period of massive activity on the smartphone front, which will see new handsets from Apple, Google and Palm rolled out. But given the offer is also open to Pay As You Go customers, there doesn't seem to be any reason why you can't pop a free Vodafone SIM card into an old handset and register for free roaming, while keeping your current provider or buying into the smartphone craze next month.
It's the sort of deal that'll appeal to the frugal, something more of us are becoming in these belt-tightening times; despite the number of minutes used rising by nearly a fifth, O2 has announced it's struggling to make as much money per customer as we're more likely to switch tariffs or not to upgrade our handsets. So Vodafone's promotion will no doubt be welcomed by many this summer, and should put an end to those troublesome unexpected bills abroad.