Last June 15th was a historical day: the famous (and hated) roaming charges officially disappeared throughout the European Union. In case you didn’t know, roaming fees are charged by telephone networks for calling or surfing the Internet from a foreign country. This surcharge has been eliminated after more than 10 years of talks and, finally, EU citizens will be able to use their mobiles as if they were in their own country wherever they are.
Although this seems great, the truth is that there are some hidden details that we must be aware of to avoid problems and surprises.
How does it work? Roam like at Home, as the new policy of the European Union regarding roaming is officially known, seeks users to pay the same rate that they contracted in their country when calling or using their mobile from abroad. That is, it is not a special or limited rate, but the one that they have under contract, under the same conditions, whether they are a contract or pay-as-you-go customer.
In what countries does it work? Roaming fees have been scrapped in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Romania and Sweden.
Is there any limit? The European Union has stated that consumers should use their mobile more in their country than when travelling: this is to prevent someone from getting a cheaper rate abroad and using it in their own country. To prevent this, phone networks can detect if a customer has abused roaming for several months and may incur charges.