Monday 26 September 2016

The 60-second guide to... getting cheaper mobile calls abroad

Published 08/05/2016 | 02:30

Roaming charges are falling
Roaming charges are falling

The cost of using your mobile phone when travelling in the EU has been slashed - under new rules which kicked in at the end of last month.

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There is now a limit on what you can be charged when using your mobile to make or receive calls, send text messages, or to go online. That limit applied from April 30, 2016 and covers temporary use of your phone when travelling in the EU.

The rules stipulate that you can't be charged more than 5c extra a minute for making a call on your mobile when travelling in the EU than you would at home, more than 1c extra a minute to receive a call, more than 2c extra to send text, and more than 5c extra to download a megabyte of data when surfing the internet on your mobile.

The new rules don't apply in Switzerland or Turkey so you could be charged more for using your mobile in these countries. Although the new rules will apply to Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, the rules only kicked in after the April 30 date - so contact your mobile phone company to confirm charges before you head off.

Check your mobile phone bill when you come home from holiday to make sure you haven't been overcharged. Should you find your mobile phone company has broken the rules, contact it, point out your rights and its obligations, and ask it to resolve the problem before you're forced to take the matter further. Should the company not play ball, contact the telecoms regulator, ComReg, on 018049668 or consumerline@comreg.ie.

Roaming charges (the fees for using your mobile abroad) will be completely abolished in the EU from June 15, 2017.

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