As of 15th June 2017 mobile service providers will no longer be able to apply extortionate roaming charges when using your device abroad after MEPs finally agreed on the ban. Hallefuckinglujah.
If you’ve ever been caught out by these charges you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about – they’ll quickly run up into hundreds of £s and leave you wondering WTF just happened. These additional charges occur when texting, browsing the web and making or receiving calls, aka doing anything other than staring at your blank phone or pretending you don’t own one, and all of which are out of your control unless you have your phone on airplane mode, which is obviously an inconvenience.
Previously, mobile networks have thought they were being helpful by charging a couple of quid a day to let you continue using your contract allowance as you would at home while abroad, but even this can add upwards of £15 to your bill depending how long you are away from home for.
If you’re thinking that the summer of 2017 still seems a way off then don’t panic, in the intervening time commencing 30th April until the ban takes effect there will be a cap on all charges across the EU which means operators cannot add a surcharge in excess of: â‚¬0.05 (3.5p) extra per minute for calls, â‚¬0.02 extra per SMS sent and â‚¬0.05 extra per megabyte of data used. This move will make roaming within the EU 75% cheaper during the interim period. Well, unless the EU referendum sees us leave the EU that is, which will also be around the time that this ban is due to take effect. In which case, the mobile operators will carry on fucking us like all of this was nothing more than a bad dream for them.
Now all we need is that 30-second phone charger to finally hit the shelves and we’re all set.