Three becomes latest mobile firm to bring back roaming charges

Guardian Technology 09 Sep 2021 12:36

Three is to reintroduce charges for using their phones when travelling abroad, ending almost five years of free mobile phone roaming across Europe for their customers.

Three is the latest of Britain’s biggest mobile companies to bring back charges, which will apply in almost 50 European territories as well as two dozen other international destinations, despite previously saying roaming costs would not return after Brexit.

The company said that a £2 daily charge would apply when customers who have taken out a new contract or upgrade from 1 October use their phones in European countries. The charges do not come into effect until 23 May next year.

The company, which follows BT-owned EE and Vodafone in reintroducing the charges, is also establishing a £5 a day charge for customers who use their phones in two dozen countries including New Zealand, Australia and the US, as it also scraps its international free roaming plans.

“The new charge ensures that customers are clear on what they will pay when using their phone in another country and only those who roam will pay for the service,” said a spokesman for Three UK. “It will also ensure that we can continue investing in our UK network.”

The Republic of Ireland and Isle of Man are exempt from the new charges.

“The UK and EU should urgently strike a deal on roaming charges to stop companies chipping away at the roaming benefits customers have become used to and prevent the return of excessive charges.”

Since 2017, mobile networks in EU countries have been banned from charging customers extra to use their phones in other member countries.

The trade deal states that both sides will encourage mobile operators to have “transparent and reasonable rates” when it comes to roaming.

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