3 € per minute of call, 9,60 € the MMS and 16 € the megabyte of data, Andorra is a paradise for Free mobile. Subscribers who use their phone in this small Pyrenean country that is not part of the European Union are left with exorbitant bills. Find out more about possible roaming traps in Europe below.
A few days after returning home, this resident of the Lyon region received from her operator Free Mobile an invoice for a total of € 1,122.45, far from the € 19.99 she usually pays.
Involved: an excess of € 1,102 following the use of his smartphone from this small country nestled between France and Spain. Annie, however, used her phone as she usually does, that is to say sparingly. During her week-long vacation, she did not make any calls.
She just sent 5 text messages, received an MMS and connected to the Internet for a total of 68 megabytes, which is a small amount. roaming traps in europe
It was not counting on the exorbitant rates applied by Free Mobile to its subscribers traveling in Andorra. The minute of calling to France, for example, is charged € 3. The same call costs 50 cents a minute from Australia and 2.19 euros from Indonesia.
In Andorra, the SMS is charged 70 cents and each MMS costs the modest sum of 9.60 €, whether issued or received! As for the megabyte, it is posted at 16 €. By comparison, the MMS and the megabyte from Andorra are billed 0.24 € to SFR customers with a 4G package and included in all packages at Orange.
These tariffs have been included in the Free Mobile tariff brochure since 1 January 2016. Before that date, they were identical to those charged in the other European Union countries, ie 6 cents per minute and 19 cents per MMS and megabyte. Between December 31, 2015 and January 1, 2016, Free Mobile has increased the price of the megabyte since Andorra by 8,300%!
Free mobile is entitled to apply the rates they wants, provided to inform its customers, what the operator says he made by mail on December 1, 2015 and reiterates by SMS whenever a customer connects to an antenna in Andorra. To limit the risk of an exorbitant bill, the EC regulation of 13 June 2012 obliges operators to block the downloading of data abroad once the ceiling of 50 € has been reached (except for a special option subscribed by the subscriber).
In the case of Annie, it seems that this lock did not work. If Annie received an SMS alerting her that the ceiling had been reached and that the service was disabled, Annie said she was able to continue using her smartphone normally in the days that followed. This breach is likely to engage the liability of Free Mobile and may allow Annie to request the cancellation of the claim.