There was some good news for holidaymakers yesterday as regulations capping the cost of making and receiving calls in the EU came into force.
From 1 July 2010, when you use your mobile in EU countries mobile operators must:
- Charge no more than €0.39 (about 32p) per minute to make calls, €0.15 per minute to receive calls and €0.11 to send texts (it's free to receive texts).
- Apply an automatic cut-off once your mobile internet use (data roaming) reaches €50 (about £42), unless you choose another cut-off limit or opt-out.
- Send users a warning when they reach 80% of their data roaming limit.
- Keep you well-informed of charges for using your mobile abroad, sending an information text when you arrive at your destination.
- Use 'per second' billing after the first 30 seconds for calls made, and immediately for calls received. (Source which?)
So this means that returning holidaymakers will no longer have to remortgage their homes in order to pay their mobile phone bill – selling just one of their kidneys should now be sufficient.
But on a serious note, bear in mind that the new regulations only cover EU countries. So if you are travelling outside of the EU you can still expect to be taken to the cleaners by your mobile operator.