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European Commission to Remove Roaming Charges from 2017

Andreas Ansip, Vice President, Digital Single Market:

“We are providing a balanced solution which is in the interest of everyone who uses mobile phones and devices. Every European will be able to roam without extra charges, when travelling from the place they call “home”. Every European should also be able to benefit from the most competitive domestic offers. In close cooperation with European consumers, we have designed safeguards to ensure travellers benefit from “roam like at home”, while avoiding negative effects on the most competitive domestic data packages. We have listened, we have consulted, we have refined our proposals; I believe we provide legal certainty. It is now up to EU Member States to support what we are proposing in order to make Europeans’ lives easier, cut bills and keep prices down.”

Despite paying for roaming packages before travelling, I have still been hit with large bills. On one occasion, I reset my iPhone data usage counter just before I left for my travels and when I returned it showed I had used 237MB of data, well within the 1GB I had paid for. When my bill arrived, my carrier, o2, claimed I had used close to 3GB and were charging me just over £300.

When I emailed them a screenshot of the data usage statistics they claimed they couldn’t receive it as their email system didn’t allow images to get through. They then claimed that the statistics on the iPhone were more indicative than accurate. Finally, when I threatened to take action through OFCOM, the charges miraculously disappeared.

That bill-shock situations like this should no longer occur is great for European consumers.