Wednesday 6 July 2011

Mobile roaming charges set to drop below cost of your flight


The cost of using your mobile phone whilst abroad is set to fall below the cost of the flight which took you there, under new European Commission proposals.

The recommendation comes after calls from thousands of consumers unwilling to take out a second mortgage in order to check their emails whilst on holiday.

Holiday-maker Dave Williams told us, “You save all year for your holiday, you book your flights, and then you have to decide whether to stay in a four star-resort and not use your phone, or go for a two-star resort and check our messages once a day.  It’s a tough call.”

“For that last couple of years we’ve gone for three-star accommodation and checked our messages on the Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  It’s a compromise that’s worked for us.”

Sheila Matthews welcomed the move, telling us, “We didn’t take a holiday last year, because in 2009 my mother called me whilst we were in Spain for a quick catch up.”

“Once I’d sold the car to pay the phone bill there wasn’t much left over for another holiday. We’re hoping to get away for a few days this year, but my husband has told me the phone is going in the pool if it rings.”

Mobile roaming charges

The proposed changes have been criticised by the mobile industry, who insist that the extortionate roaming charges they provide offer a useful reality check for many customers.

An industry spokesperson told us, “We like to think of our pricing strategy as a tool for focussing the mind on those conversations you really, really want to have.”

“You certainly realise whether someone is important to you, or not, when they try and call you whilst you’re abroad – but I guess that’s all about to change.”

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