Huge change to roaming fee rules for holidaymakers – will you save cash?

MILLIONS of holidaymakers could be saving some cash as new rules for roaming fees have been announced.
Ofcom has confirmed that from October 1, 2024, network operators must offer users with clear information when abroad, including roaming fees and spending caps.


New rules can help prevent people being stung with high mobile billsCredit: Alamy


Ofcom has ruled that network providers must offer holidaymakers with clear information when abroadCredit: Alamy

They will be required to tell users when they begin roaming, including any “fair use” or time constraints that may apply.
“Fair use” caps how much of your UK data allowance you may use while roaming in Europe.
The watchdog said that users should be notified how to set a spending limit and where to get assistance if they are unsure about roaming expenses.
Before Brexit, you were free to use your existing call, data and text allowances in Europe at no extra cost.

Read more money stories

But Ofcom found one in five (19%) holidaymakers are still unaware they could face extra charges when using their phone abroad.
A similar proportion (18%) said they do not research roaming charges before travelling.
Sue Davies, head of consumer protection policy at Which?, said these changes can help prevent people being stung with high mobile bills that they weren’t expecting.
She said: “The new rules do fall short by not suggesting that providers should give compensation to UK residents who have inadvertently fallen foul of roaming charges, and failing to outline what this would look like.

Most read in Money

“When the UK negotiates future trade deals, it must seize the opportunity to lower the cost of roaming for consumers travelling around the world.
“The UK and EU should also agree a deal on roaming charges that stops people facing extortionate bills from providers.”

Easy ways to slash your mobile bill
Cristina Luna-Esteban, Ofcom’s director of telecoms consumer policy, said: “The last thing holidaymakers want when returning from a trip abroad is an unexpected mobile phone bill.
“At the moment, some customers aren’t getting clear information from their provider to help them manage their mobile use and plan their spend.

“Our new protections will mean you’re told what it’ll cost when you start roaming, so you can be c …