AVOID MOBILE PHONE BILL SHOCKS WHEN YOU RETURN
7 July 2008
MP asks holidaymakers: Do you know the true price of surfing on the beach?
check-list to avoid mobile phone bill shock
With the summer holiday season
underway Lynne Jones is urging holidaymakers to be aware of the costs of making calls,
surfing the internet or sending emails from mobile phones when overseas.
The call comes after a number of
reported cases in which people using mobile phones to download data when abroad have been
greeted with massive bills upon their return. These include:
A consumer who used a 5GB limit data
roaming card in Austria and received a bill for over £4,000 for usage, after being
informed that the operators limit was only 50MB.
Another who used a mobile phone to
surf the web in France and was charged over £400 for 15 minutes of access. (source:
Lynne Jones MP said:
More and more people are using
their mobile phones, or new mobile dongles with laptops to surf the web or
send emails while out and about. With price plans starting from £5 per month most people
know what their charges will be when used in the UK.
But using these devices in the
same way when overseas including within the EU can run up bills of hundreds
or even thousands of pounds. Even downloading a 79p song from iTunes can cost £20.
This can be avoided if people
follow just a few simple steps, both before they go and while on holiday.
Im urging everyone who is
heading overseas this summer to make sure that when sorting out their holiday insurance
and foreign currency, they know the score when it comes to using their mobiles abroad. The
last thing people want when they get back from their summer break is a huge bill sitting
on the doormat.
The ten-point check list is:
1. Enable your mobile phone: Check with your mobile
provider that your phone has been enabled to use abroad. Operators are obliged to provide
this information to customers.
2. Check your handset: Check with your mobile provider that
your handset will work in the country you are travelling to.
3. Check the prices before you leave: Contact your mobile
provider to check your tariff before you travel to help avoid unexpectedly high bills.
4. Ensure you are getting the best deal: Check international
packages offered by operators before you travel to ensure you are getting the best deal.
5. The new Eurotariff excludes web, email or texting: The new pan European mobile phone tariff (Eurotariff) only
applies to voice calls, not to texting and data downloads. It is available from all
operators, across most European countries but is not available in Switzerland, Turkey or
6. Check your bundles: Dont assume that the price of
calls made abroad is included in your bundled package.
7. Dont forget voicemail: Picking up voicemail from
abroad can cost the same as making a call to the UK check with your provider if in
doubt. You may also be charged every time someone leaves a message on your voicemail. If
you want to avoid these charges, you can switch off your voicemail before you leave the
8. Using mobile internet abroad: Be aware that when
connecting to the internet via a mobile handset, dongle or data card (a portable modem
which provides internet access via the 3G network) while abroad could cost significantly
more than when using them at home.
9. The local SIM option: If you are out of the country for a
long period time, it could be cheaper to buy a local SIM card that can be used in your
handset or a local dongle.
10. Alert your operator immediately if your phone is lost or
stolen: If your phone is lost or stolen when you are abroad remember that you could be
liable for the cost of the calls made in that country. Make a note of the contact details
of your operator before you travel to ensure that you can get in touch with them as soon
as possible to report the loss.
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