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Ofcom Urges for Roaming Fee Notifications due to Brexit’s Termination of Free Abroad Services

In a world where connectivity is paramount, the recent changes in mobile roaming rules by Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, have sparked significant interest and discussion. This article delves into the implications of these changes for consumers, particularly those who frequently travel abroad. uk ofcom Roaming Fee Notifications

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The catalyst for these changes was the reinstatement of mobile roaming charges by most British operators following Brexit. This move prompted Ofcom to propose mandatory roaming alerts for consumers, aiming to increase transparency and protect customers from unexpected charges.

Under the proposals, Ofcom would make sure users get personalised alerts including:

  • Roaming charges that will apply including specifying any fair use data limits and the time period that applies to any daily charges.
  • Any mobile bill limits the customer has in place.
  • Where to find free-to-access additional detail on roaming charges, fair use policies and how to monitor, reduce and limit spending.

One of the key issues addressed by Ofcom is ‘inadvertent roaming.’ This phenomenon, experienced by 14% of UK mobile customers, occurs when users unknowingly connect to foreign mobile networks, resulting in unexpected charges. This issue is particularly prevalent among residents of the English coast and Northern Ireland, where proximity to foreign networks often leads to inadvertent roaming.

Personalized roaming alerts uk ofcom Roaming Fee Notifications

The new rules proposed by Ofcom aim to tackle this issue head-on. Under these rules, mobile customers will receive personalized alerts detailing the roaming charges that apply when travelling abroad. These alerts will also include information on any mobile bill limit the customer has in place and where to find additional details on roaming charges and how to monitor, reduce, and limit spend.

The need for such measures became apparent after research revealed that nearly one in five holidaymakers were unaware of roaming charges when travelling. Furthermore, 18% of holidaymakers admitted that they do not research roaming charges before travelling. These statistics underscore the importance of clear and consistent information about roaming charges. uk ofcom Roaming Fee Notifications

The proposed rules have been met with widespread approval. Cristina Luna-Esteban, Ofcom’s director of telecoms consumer protection, stated, “Millions of UK holidaymakers head abroad every year and want to stay connected on their travels. But without clear information from their provider, they could find themselves facing an unexpected bill for calling home or going online.”

The consultation period for these proposals is open until September 28, 2023, with a decision expected in early 2024. These changes mark a significant step towards greater transparency and consumer protection in the mobile communications sector.

 

 

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