“Roam like at home” rule doesn’t apply for roaming on board ferries and cruise and charges are extremely high. Ferries usually have their very own phone network, operated via satellite. So if your phone can’t connect to 2, 3 or 4G network it may seek out the satellite connection, which is much more expensive.
Even WiFi on board is expensive.
So if your mobile uses an onboard satellite system to get a signal, that provider’s not bound by the EU rule and you’re likely to be charged a fair whack – even if sailing from one EU country to another!
As reported by NDR 1 Welle Nord, the twelve-year-old son of the family on the vacation used his mobile phone on the ferry of the shipping company Color Line from Kiel to Oslo to watch videos.
Shortly after the holiday, a hefty bill of the mobile operator arrived: 12 000 euros for about 470 megabytes of used data.
Providers should send warning SMS
The cell phone of the boy had obviously dialed into the satellite network “Telenor Maritime”, says the managing director of the shipping company, Dirk Hundertmark of the German Press Agency.
As in the case of aircraft, high roaming charges are incurred when using such networks. Color Line tries to inform passengers in advance on their website about possible costs. It is very rare that passengers dial in unnoticed in the satellite network. Customers would be notified via SMS from their provider about possible costs.
“This is really an extreme case that the family experienced there,” says the managing director. The shipping company offers paid Wi-Fi packages as an alternative.
The mobile operator of the family had reduced the bill to 5000 euros for reasons of goodwill, reported the NDR. Nevertheless family turned on a lawyer and tried to take action against the claim.