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Consumers to benefit from lower phone bills in the EU

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Mobile firms will be forced to lower the prices of making a call or downloading data abroad within the EU from July 2012.

Mobile firms will be forced to lower the prices of making a call or downloading data abroad within the EU from July 2012.

Many customers have faced bills for thousands of pounds after falling foul of current high roaming charges.

Under new rules agreed by the European Parliament, consumers will pay no more than 29 cents (24p) per minute to make a call and 70 cents (59p) per megabyte for data downloads across Europe.

Consumer Focus European policy manager Marzena Lipman said: “Moves to tackle excessive roaming charges are really good news for anyone travelling in the European Union. Mobile and data charges have been notoriously high for too long and stories of people inadvertently being hit with sky-high bills are common. Plans to open up competition and lower set price caps are to be commended.

“‘It is also good to see providers being obliged to alert consumers that they are nearing 50 Euros of data downloads when they are travelling outside the EU. However, we would also like to see a similar mechanism to protect mobile phone customers in the UK. Consumers travelling abroad are rightly being protected from bill-shocks – people using their phone in the UK should be offered similar levels of protection.”

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