One of Malta’s telecommunications providers has been asked by the Malta Communications Authority to review its roaming tariff information, after a post-paid subscriber’s complaint following the removal of roaming charges was upheld, Times of Malta report.
The MCA declined to identify the provider but said that the original information was, indeed, inaccurate and was being changed.
Another subscriber, this time a prepaid one, also complained to the authority this week and the case is currently still under investigation.
In addition to the above complaints, the MCA also provided information to six other end-users who raised enquiries on the matter.
Roam-like-at-home was introduced across the EU on June 15, but there were numerous comments online indicating that customers had not fully understood what this entailed, as well as complaints pre-empting possible changes to tariffs by providers.
The two main providers have also received a number of queries. Here are the main misconceptions cleared up for you.
1) Roaming is free and I can now use my phone in EU member states without paying.
Roaming means using your mobile phone abroad to call, text or browse the internet. The EU has removed roaming surcharges, meaning that you can now use your phone in the EU as if you were still in Malta.
2) So what I have in Malta is exactly what I’ll have when travelling within the EU?
When it comes to bundles, the volume of SMS, any-net minutes and internet you have available towards any local network before leaving Malta will also be available when you land in an EU country. Vodafone applies a data fair use policy cap in line with the EU Roaming Regulation only in the case of a very limited number of prepaid bundles with large domestic data allowances.
3) I’m on an on-net (i.e. Vodafone to Vodafone) bundle. Why can’t I call for free when in the EU?
On-net calls/SMS bundles, discounts and free options are not applicable in Europe as these were specifically developed to be used locally on Vodafone Malta’s own infrastructure. Therefore when roaming in the EU, calls will be treated and charged like an off-net call.
4) So now I can purchase a SIM card from any other EU country and use it in Malta?
Consumer prices in the EU reflect different national consumption patterns, regulatory and market characteristics, including significant differences in costs of running networks.
The EU’s Roam Like at Home is not designed for permanent roaming purposes. Vodafone said it will be monitoring customers’ usage in line with the regulation by taking into account their presence and usage at home and while roaming, and using a four-month monitoring period. Should a customer meet the permanent roaming criteria (i.e. more usage and presence in roaming vs when at home), the company will notify them and they will have two weeks to rectify the situation before roaming surcharge fees are applied.
1) Rates when calling or texting:
GO customers calling from the EU can call or text Malta and any EU country, for the same local any network rates or bundles as if they are in Malta. The local rates also apply for data when in EU.
2) Bundles and discounted rates:
In cases where customers benefit from discounted calls and SMS rates or bundles towards GO Mobile, these benefits are available only in Malta.
3) Calling international numbers from Malta:
Rates and bundles of calls originating from Malta to international numbers, irrespective whether EU Zone 1 or otherwise, remain unchanged.