Unwitting holidaymakers who relied on their phones to keep up a correspondence, find places and use social media received hefty bills after their breaks this summer. These sums reached an eye-watering £1,000 for only one holiday for probably the most unlucky, with the typical of those polled into the tons of of kilos.
Since Brexit, UK cell phone providers are not any longer obliged to supply free roaming across the European Union (EU), and a lot of the predominant networks have reintroduced charges while abroad.
So 35 per cent of Brits said in a survey last month they were charged extra for roaming while on holiday within the EU.
Almost one-quarter (23 per cent) were within the 25-34 age bracket, while 20 per cent were aged over 65.
The poll, commissioned by the Lebara Mobile network, found most Brits were stung by data charges in Spain, France and Greece, popular holiday destinations.
Mobile data is used to have a look at maps, use social media, send and receive messages on some occasions, stream music and videos amongst other functions.
The research comes as Brits are scrambling to return abroad after years of travel restrictions imposed consequently of coronavirus.
And with the rising cost of living crisis continuing to bite, struggling Brits are cancelling mobile, web, TV service contracts as a way to pay other bills.
Rajesh Dongre, Lebara UK managing director, said: “After two years of the pandemic, British families wish to get away for a well-deserved holiday abroad, but the continued cost of living crisis is hitting everyone hard. In an overstretched travel budget, roaming charges to make use of your network abroad are an additional dampener during these difficult times.”
Vodafone was probably the most used network to access the online by those surveyed, followed by Tesco Mobile, O2 and EE.
But Lebara, which partners networks and is accessible in various countries the world over, is now running SIM-only deals with Vodafone.
Mr Dongre continued: “Our mission is to assist people lower your expenses on their mobile bills. Unlike many major network operators, we should not bringing back EU roaming charges, and people who travel to the EU on their holidays can use their phone as they might at home, at no extra cost. They will use all their data allowance available on the plan while roaming in EU — as much as a max of 30GB.”
In response to Ofcom’s July 2022 Communications Affordability Tracker, nine per cent of Brits said that they had cancelled a telecommunications service as a result of affordability issues, up from just five per cent last yr.