Mobile users warned of extra fees as roaming charges return

Two of the UK’s biggest mobile networks are reintroducing roaming charges in January, with another bringing them back in May.

Martyn Landi
Friday 31 December 2021 12:07
EE and Vodafone are reintroducing roaming charges for customers travelling to Europe from next month, with Three also set to reintroduce them in May 2022 (Yui Mok/PA)
EE and Vodafone are reintroducing roaming charges for customers travelling to Europe from next month, with Three also set to reintroduce them in May 2022 (Yui Mok/PA)

Mobile phone users are being urged to check if they face extra fees in the new year as roaming charges return to some networks in January.

Two of the UK’s four biggest networks – EE and Vodafone – are reintroducing roaming charges for customers travelling to Europe from next month, with Three also set to reintroduce them in May 2022.

From January 1, customers who joined or upgraded with EE after July 7 2021 will face a £2 daily charge for using their data, making calls, or sending text messages in EU countries, while the same fee will apply to Vodafone customers who joined the network after August 11 2021, or upgraded or renewed their contract.

Three will bring in the £2 daily charge on May 23, applicable to customers who joined the network or upgraded after October 1 2021.

Both EE and Vodafone will offer alternatives to avoid the fee, with EE customers able to buy a 30-day Roam Abroad Pass for £10 and Vodafone users able to pay £1 a day for an eight or 15-day multipass.

The return of roaming fees follows the UK’s departure from the EU, with the bloc having removed roaming charges for people moving around Europe in 2017.

Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Many mobile users who are travelling to Europe in 2022 will have to endure the added cost of roaming charges, with EE and Vodafone reintroducing their fees from January.

“If you’re an existing customer of EE, Vodafone or Three, check your contract to see whether these charges apply to you. If you signed up prior to specific dates, you should be safe.

“When it comes to travelling, don’t leave it until the last minute to check the roaming charges for your destination, and use hotel and cafe wifi when on holiday where possible, ensuring any public access points are safe and secure before logging on.”

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