Users may miss out on cut-price EU mobile roaming charges

Despite the European Union slashing the cost of mobile phone call roaming across Europe, many users may not benefit.

Despite the European Union slashing the cost of mobile phone call roaming across Europe, many users may not benefit.

UK comms regulator Ofcom says businesses and consumers already on contracts that include fixed roaming charges may miss out, unless they change their contracts.

A new roaming charging law came into effect at the weekend. From the end of August, a new Eurotariff comes into force, offering savings on what most users currently pay.

From September, a call anywhere in Europe under the Eurotariff will cost no more than around 38p including VAT per minute to make, and about 19p to receive.

This means an average reduction in retail prices of more than 50% for most users, said Ofcom.

The new law requires that all mobile network operators must contact all of their customers to inform them of their tariff options, and explain when the new Eurotariff will be made available, by the end of July.

By the end of August they should introduce the new tariff, both for new and existing customers.

By the end of September, they should transfer all customers to the Eurotariff automatically - except for those customers who have explicitly chosen another tariff.

This means that unless a company or individual user switches, they could miss out on the savings, said Ofcom.

“All users, whether they have already signed up for other tariffs or not, should consider carefully which tariff option best fits their needs. Providers should supply clear information which makes this choice easier,” said Ofcom.

Tesco Mobile has already introduced the new cut-price roaming charges.

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