Money alert: Cap on mobile phone charges


A new EU roaming charge cap was introduced this week. Under the new rules, the maximum charge for outgoing calls, excluding VAT, will be 19 cents per minute, six cents for outgoing text messages and 20 cents for downloading 1MB of data.

However, the new caps only apply when you use a mobile within the EU. Worryingly, nearly half of mobile users who have been abroad in the last 12 months said they didn't know that the price caps don't apply to the whole of Europe. If you're travelling further afield, you could still suffer from bill shock on your return, unless you plan beforehand.

What should you do to avoid huge charges? For starters, don't download films, games or music abroad. Do it through home wi-fi before you leave.

The most important thing, however, is to turn off data roaming on your phone. Look up your model on the internet before you travel to find out how to do this.

It will stop automatic downloads, which can really cause a huge bill. Then find out about data-roaming bundles or buy a local SIM card when you arrive abroad for cheap-rate calls.

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