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back to article Vodafone to let you roam in Europe at UK prices

New European Commission-imposed EU mobile data roaming price regulations kick in on Sunday, and Vodafone has announced a modification of its European roaming package. The new arrangement, Vodafone Euro Traveller, allows Brits to pay no more for calls, messages and data when they're on the continent as they do at home, Extras …

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£3 per day is an absolute con ... if you go on holiday for two weeks and wanted to use your phone one each day it would cost £42 in addition to your monthly subscription charge.

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Anonymous Coward

If you only wanted to use your phone once a day then you'd just pay the roaming charge and forget about this. I expect £3/day for two weeks probably starts to look a lot more attractive for parents of teenage girls. Admittedly it wouldn't have helped in this case but my neice ran up a fairly sizeable bill on a family holiday to Australia last year by constantly texting and sending photos to her friends - she didn't understand that roaming charges can take a day or two to hit your bill so thought as when she checked bill after first 2 days that as it hadn't increased by much then all the texts etc weren't that expensive .... she discovered the true cost when she checked again a few days later!

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Not just about "using" your phone. Unless you remember to switch off all data actions (including the "silent" stuff) then that'll undoubtedly count as "usage" and you'll be copping £3 a day for just having your phone switched on.

Almost the whole mobile industry are thieves. It's taken EU intervention to get this far, and they're still ripping us off. There's no way it actually incurs anything like £3 per day (including a fair margin) for roaming use.

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absolute con

especially since in most of Europe you are going to be roaming on vodafone france, vodafone germany etc, which is basically the same company so there's no real justification for termination charges, the individual subsidiaries can cancel those out between them. There's no technical reason for the roaming charges, which do not cost anything more to connect than any other call, the only difference is the rates the companies charge each other to interconnect, which are scandalously and artificially high.

Can you spell c-a-r-t-e-l?

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O2 similar

I got a text from O2 a few days ago telling me that my calls from Europe back home would cost 50p then would come out of my normal monthly calls allowance. Hopefully there will be a bit of a price war now!

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Re: O2 similar

Think I paid £15 for unlimited data (well 50MB per day cap or something) whilst on holiday in Spain recently. That was with Orange. They do a day rate as well I think but £15 seemed pretty good value compared to the normal roaming data rates.

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Sounds like HBOS's change to make overdrafts "simpler". They changed it from the percentage to a fixed fee. Sounds good, but in practise for the many who go only slightly overdrawn, they get hit with a £15 charge rather than a few pounds otherwise. What it does mean is that if you go overdrawn you might as well go sereiously overdrawn to maximum use of that £15 charge.

Vodaphone's plan is similar. Many roaming now know about the issue and will keep their phone use to a minimum. But as Miek says at the top, those will be penalised now. Only those who don't understand roaming charges will be better off. And removing the cap on the data limit - Why?

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Giff Gaff also announced their new euro-roaming charges recently. Very reasonable for PAYG IMHO.

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Anonymous Coward

Sorry but GiffGaff's 69p per MB roaming data does not cut it for me

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Linux

if you have an blackberry on GIffgaff with the £3 addon you get 10MB an day of data when roaming (its still not clear if it relates to BBM and email only or any BIS service and like whatsapp and browser as well that use BIS)

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Have you actually done the maths?

Clearly none of you have read the fact that this is totally optional. By default you pay like everyone else - but when I go abroad I still need to use my phone just as much as at home- calls, texts and internet...for a 4 day trip to Germany that used to mean anywhere between 30 and 60 quid extra on my bill (even with Vodafone Passport and DataTraveller, which is esentially standard now) . Now it costs 12. That's a pretty good deal in my book...

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Sigh.

Call me back when I don't have to work magic to just have it cost the same (or SLIGHTLY) more than the UK for everything (whether PAYG or not). Hell, T-Mobile are spread throughout Europe already, so there's no excuse - they don't necessarily have to co-operate with any rivals at all.

And don't mention MB. The second you mention MB at all, I'm put off. Start talking GB's and we can negotiate.

Until then, stop pretending you're doing something helpful. You're not. This is like cutting a penny off petrol by using a different petrol station, where I would save 60p a week, which is barely worth the hassle of worrying about.

Gigabytes, people, and out of my expressible-in-gigabytes-without-having-to-use-floating-point monthly allowance that I would be able to use in the UK too, and with no special arrangements, text-activation or warnings needed beyond what I'd receive in the UK. It's not like you have to send the damn 3G packets all the way back to Blighty by radio in order to let me see Google on my phone while I'm in France.

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I agree wholeheartedly, however even the rationalisation of call charges only came about when the commission had to ram it down the tel/co's throats.

And AFAIK back when the investigation started, data where much less prevalent than today.

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Better than current deal

I hope 3 gives this a go. I spent a lot more than £3 a day on roaming on my last trip and that was only turning the data on fore a few mins now and then to check some stuff.

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Anonymous Coward

Get a local PAYG phone

Whenever I go back to the UK I hit Car Phone Warehouse and get a 10 pound PAYG phone. Anybody going abroad the other way who wants to make calls should do the same.

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Re: Get a local PAYG phone

Have you seen the price of pay as you go data in Europe recently? Calls are a minor part of smartphone use nowadays...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Get a local PAYG phone @Andrew 66

>Have you seen the price of pay as you go data in Europe recently?

Yes I have.

I use Happy Movil PAYG and for 8 euros I get a months data, 500 Mb high speed then reduced. Also Orange have a 3.50 euros per week PAYG voice and data plan.I think that's cheaper than any roaming offer.

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Re: Get a local PAYG phone @Andrew 66

So it is getting a little cheaper then. The problem is you then have to add all your calls and texts on to that as well...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Get a local PAYG phone @Andrew 66

Add on whatever you like, I'd bet that any local PAYG rate to the UK will be cheaper than a roaming rate for calling the UK from abroad. Also being PAYG you won't be hit with hidden charges operators pile on but don't mention when presenting offers, like those very small letters that flash by at the speed of sound at the bottom of TV adverts.

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Re: Get a local PAYG phone

It entirely depends on your use of your phone. Some people might be better off just roaming, some might be better off with a local SIM and some, like me who have very high usage rates of their device and only go abroad for a few days at a time, are probably better off paying 3 quid a day to take their home tariff abroad.

The particular tariff Vodafone offer is very simple, 3 pounds a day and you have the same price plan and terms as you have in the UK, with the exception of extras (for example the £5pm unlimited 08 numbers add on).

Unfortunately with a local SIM card you are still going to be charged a fortune for texting and calling back to the UK, which will probably cost a hell of a lot more than £3 a day in my case, in fact at pay as you go rates probably less than half an hour of calls.

International roaming isn't as cheap as it should be, no, but for now its a hell of a lot cheaper than it used to be. Everything is relative, and just because it isn't as cheap as you want it to be doesn't mean reductions in price should immediately be greater with hatred, as is so often the case on sites like el reg.

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WTF?

Re: Get a local PAYG phone

Why should we be expected to f&*k around with PAYG phones when we go abroad?

The same operators run the networks in most European countries, and given they claim to be global companies (who pay tax only in the cheapest tax haven) then they can afford to give all Europeans the same deal as their home network no matter which country they are in.

This offer from Vodafone PROVES that the technology is in place for both the inter-operator billing and the customer billing at the lowest possible rates, however (until now) all the companies are simply interested in screwing the customer for as much money as they can.

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They are increasing their pricing!

With Vodafone, I used to be able to pay £10 per month for 25mb per day in their Europe locations. It was a brilliant deal and I'm sad to see it go. Now, I'll end up paying £3 per day - that's £42 for 2 weeks, or a 320% increase!

It was my one reason for staying with Vodafone (I regularly go abroad), and my contract just happens to be up last month - time to move I think!

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Re: They are increasing their pricing!

Well don't opt into it then! Read the article before you comment.

It is NOT COMPULSORY. If you are on a deal that's better for you now, then stay on it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They are increasing their pricing!

I did try and opt in to this but as I'm on a SIM-only deal the computer says "no". So, looks like I'll get a local pay as you go SIM. Twats.

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Coat

Missing the point?

A few points really:

1. Its optional. If you don't like it, don't change to the deal. All the old deals aren't going away, unless you upgrade to this one.

2. European networks are not the owned by the same country, even when they might appear to be to the common man. If you are on O2 here there is no reason at all for you to get lower price access to a Telephonica network in Spain.

3. As mentioned above the prices of roaming usage (I say usage as its not about one aspect this is data/calls/sms) has come down a lot in the last decade. We should be happier that its now cheaper than its ever been instead of cheesed off that its not exactly the same as our home network.

4. Its all about the usage. Sure if you send 1 txt in a two week period it will cost you £3. But its only when you use it, not a persistent cost. If you are a heavy overseas users change your price plan to include unlimited EU roaming for a fixed cost! (That's like complaining to Sky cos they charge you £60+ a month and you only used 2 channels)

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Re: Missing the point?

Finally somebody who understands how business works!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Missing the point?

"European networks are not the owned by the same country, even when they might appear to be to the common man. If you are on O2 here there is no reason at all for you to get lower price access to a Telephonica network in Spain."

Why not? Even the bloody banks manage to offer foreign ATM services at not wholly unreasonable prices, so most of us don't believe the telcos are doing us a big favour with their outrageous rip off pricing for romaing use, in particular when they are owned by the same company, or have reciprocal roaming agreements. You say the new offers are "optional", but there isn't an easy, reasonably priced alternative. I'm not suggesting they shouldn't make a tidy return on the charges, but that's not what we're talking about.

Indeed, if your argument held water, then Orange ought to charge T Mobile users in the UK the same as foreign roaming users, despite the "shared" network. Funnily enough, they don't. Got an explanation?

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Trying to be clever

By offering this "deal" effectively what they are doing is trying to get around the price caps imposed by the EC, a bit like low-cost (and other) airlines with their credit card "fees" and other nonsense.

In my opinion, EC rules should be clarified or modified to include any such fees in the total cost of roaming calls. At the moment, if say I sign up to this plan, then make a one minute call back to the UK, I get charged 50p + £3.00 = £3.50, and £3.50 > £0.50 or whatever the roaming cap is, therefore putting Vodafone on the wrong side of the law. Those £3/day are fine, but that should kick in only after you've called for longer than 'x' minutes, so that the price per minute (or Mb or whatever) never goes above the EC cap.

[btw, EC = European Commission, not European Community]

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Anonymous Coward

European Single Market?

Just a question, does anyone know of any references as to the legality or otherwise of charging different rates for roaming on another operator's network based solely on whether the host operator is located in the same or a different EU country? In other words, why do I pay a different rate depending on whether I, as a subscriber to operator A's services in say France, am connected to operator B's network on France, or operator C's network in the UK?

Why is this not a violation of single market rules? I repeat that I have no idea, I'm just asking a question.

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FAIL

Vodafone Euro Traveller works out incredibly expensive if you are mainly a data user with varied roamed call use.

Data Traveller cost only 10 pounds a month for 25mb a day. In my case calls varied but in total monthly bill if I was roaming for a month was never as high as what it would cost with Euro Traveller - around 90 pounds!

As Vodafone removed the old services without giving the option to keep them, many customers and I are fighting to be released from our contracts as they are now pretty much useless when abroad and we chose Vodafone due to these services being available. Vodafone, however, are not allowing this and so complaints have been lodged with Ofcom, the Ombudsman and BBC Watchdog.

You can see the discontent here:

http://forum.vodafone.co.uk/t5/Pay-Monthly-Services/Eurotraveller-questions/td-p/1150087

I urge all of you who are unhappy not to just sit back and take this kind of treatment. The more Vodafone see that people are upset and their reputation going down the drain, the more they are likely to worry and listen!

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