Virgin Media O2 issues update to customers about roaming charges in Eu…

Virgin Media O2 has announced that its phone users will not confront roaming charges in Europe this year after other networks announced there would be an additional fee.

From January EE and Vodafone will charge its customers for data roaming, and Three will reintroduce the charges in May. 

However, customers with Virgin Media and O2 contracts will be able to continue using calls, texts and data as they would in the UK with no additional fees. 

Gareth Turpin, of Virgin Media O2, said: “We’re starting the year by giving our customers some certainty: we will not be reintroducing roaming fees in Europe for customers on O2 or Virgin Mobile.

Some mobile phone networks are reintroducing roaming charges in Europe this year (PA)

“Unlike all the other major mobile networks who are bringing back roaming fees, we will not be following suit.

“With many Brits now looking to plan a trip oversea, we’ve got our customers covered and additional roaming charges will be one less thing to worry about.”

The additional fees come after the UK left the EU, with the bloc having removed the charges for people moving around Europe in 2017.

Customers who joined or upgraded with EE after July 7 2021 confront a £2 daily charge for using their data, making calls, or sending text messages in EU countries.

The same fee will apply to Vodafone customers who joined the network after August 11 2021, or upgraded or renewed their contract.

Three will bring in the £2 daily charge on May 23, applicable to customers who joined the network or upgraded after October 1 2021.

Both EE and Vodafone will offer alternatives to avoid the fee, with EE customers able to buy a 30-day Roam oversea Pass for £10 and Vodafone users able to pay £1 a day for an eight or 15-day multipass.

Sue Davies, head of consumer protection policy at Which?, said: “After the disappointing news that EE and Vodafone are planning to reintroduce roaming charges in the coming months, it is reassuring that Virgin Media O2 is offering some certainty to customers on O2 or Virgin Mobile by not reintroducing roaming fees in Europe this year.

“As the UK continues to negotiate trade deals, it should take the opportunity to lower the cost of roaming for consumers travelling around the world.

“The UK and EU should also work to strike a deal on roaming charges to stop companies chipping away at the roaming benefits customers have become used to and to ensure the high charges people used to confront do not return.”

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