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Vodafone brings back roaming charges in Europe

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Vodafone customers will have to pay roaming charges when travelling in Europe from January, the company has confirmed.

Charges will start from £2 a day for a single day pass and will apply to new and upgrading customers who sign up or change their plan from 11 August 2021.

Vodafone is the latest network to reintroduce roaming charges after EE announced similar changes earlier in the summer.

British holidaymakers have benefited from free roaming costs in the EU since 2017. EU rules meant that UK mobile customers could use their mobile call, text and data allowance in Europe without incurring extra costs. But Brexit means the rule no longer stands.

All the major networks have previously said they had no plans to reintroduce roaming charges.

The new charges will come into force from 6 January 2022 but existing Vodafone customers will not be affected until they change their plan.

Customers will be able to bulk buy roaming passes, which will cost £8 for 8 days or £15 for 15 days.

Roaming will still be included as part of selected Xtra plans.

Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at Uswitch, said: “Any reintroduction of roaming charges means that consumers are paying a fee to use data and minutes they have already paid for.

“In the aftermath of Brexit, the UK’s biggest mobile providers all said that they had no immediate plans to change their charging models for consumers roaming within the EU.

“It’s disappointing for consumers to see that the situation looks to be shifting, with a risk that roaming at no additional cost could soon be a distant memory for UK residents.

“If you’re an existing Vodafone customer, these charges won’t affect you yet, but make sure you check the small print if you’re due an upgrade in the coming months.”

EE previously revealed it will charge customers £2 a day to use their allowances in the EU from January 2022, with only those customers who signed new contracts from 7 July affected for now.

O2 also said it would charge customers traveling in the EU £3.50 for every gigabyte of data used above a 25GB limit. There will be no charge for any usage below this amount.

A Vodafone spokesperson said: “Fewer than half of our customers roamed beyond the Republic of Ireland in 2019. Rather than have all of our customers affected by including the additional costs of roaming into all of our tariffs, customers will be able to choose a plan that comes with roaming included, or purchase an additional roaming pass.”