Among all the talk surrounding the forthcoming Brexit or no Brexit deal there has been, so far little from the network operators. But following a statement from the government that if there is no Brexit deal there is no guarantee that surcharge-free roaming would remain, the operators have responded.
Currently, we Brits have enjoyed the ability to ‘Roam Like at Home’ thanks to European Union regulations that forced carriers to allow their customers to call, text and use data without incurring extra charges.
Data usage was capped across Europe at €50 and with alerts sent to customers who get close to using up their agreed limit.
But in guidelines issued by the government they have stated they may no longer be able to guarantee this will continue. The government did announce that it would pass legislation that charges remained capped at £45 with alerts remaining.
But, and here’s the big but, it will not legislate to prevent surcharges and instead would look to the telecoms giants not to re-introduce surcharges.
The Roam Like at Home was introduced in 2017 following the EU’s abolition of roaming charges. It followed the EU’s 2015 Digital Single Market strategy that introduced a raft of benefits for consumers wherever they were in Europe.
Since then 17 legislative proposals have been agreed with another 12 on the table. For instance, from December everyone will be able to shop online ‘without unjustified discrimination’. This means that websites will not be able to block or re-route you because you, or your credit card comes from a different country.
And as of next year, all EU citizens will be able to compare parcel delivery costs more easily and benefit from more affordable prices for cross-border parcel delivery.
So far, the network operators have said they have no plans to change their offers on inclusive roaming in Europe. EE said it offers, ‘inclusive roaming charges in Europe and beyond, and we don’t have any plans to change these offers.’
Likewise, Vodafone declared no plans to introduce these charges while Three said its position remains that it, ‘will continue allowing our customers to continue using their usual allowances when they travel within the EU.’
But, as some commentators have noted, having no plans to reintroduce charges is not quite the same as promising that charges are not going to make a reappearance.
Instead, the operators have urged the government to come up with a workable Brexit deal. So far, the government has said that in the event of a Brexit deal, surcharge-free roaming would carry on during the implementation period while they thrash out what the future relationship with Europe would look like.
Image: Kai Hendry