Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

EU Slashing the cost of making a call on holiday

The cost of a making a call while travelling around the European Union is expected to be slashed by the summer.

South East MEP Catherine Bearder welcomed a move to cap the amount companies can bill customers for calls and texts from July.

Under the plans the costs of calls, texts and internet use wil be slashed and plans are also afoot to introduce rules to allow people to use the same phone number across the whole of the EU and for allowing customers to used different network providers in different EU countries, while keeping the same number.

Catherine said: “This is an important step to end the rip off charges for using your mobile phone while on holiday or business in the EU.

“The varying costs make it prohibitive to use a phone or tablet while travelling around Europe and creates confusion for customers.”

At the moment, the limit for making a call is around 30p, sending a text is about 9p and there is no cap on what firms can charge for data.

But from July, a call will be capped at 24p a minute and fall to 16p in 2014. Meanwhile, texting abroad will be cut to 8p this year and 5p in 2014.

The European Commission is also keen for operators to open their networks to providers from other EU countries in an effort to give customers wider choice.

Catherine added: “Let’s hope these new charges will not leave people with a nasty surprise when they get home and open the phone bill.”

The deal still needs to be rubber stamped by the European Parliament – before it can come into force on 1 July.

Summary of costs using a mobile phone in European Union

 2012  2013  2014
Phone Calls (per minute)
Calls made 24p 20p 16p
Calls received 7p 6p 4p
Text Messages (SMS) 8p 7p 5p