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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Megan F
    • By MSE Megan F 15th Jun 17, 2:37 PM
    • 173Posts
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    MSE Megan F
    Calling Spain, Poland etc from your UK mobile? Weirdly it's cheaper once you're in th
    • #1
    • 15th Jun 17, 2:37 PM
    Calling Spain, Poland etc from your UK mobile? Weirdly it's cheaper once you're in th 15th Jun 17 at 2:37 PM
    Calling a foreign number in the European Union from your mobile? Bizarrely it costs more if you do it from the UK than anywhere else in the EU under new roaming rules, which come into effect today....
    Read the full story:
    Calling Spain, Poland etc from your UK mobile? Weirdly it's cheaper once you're in the EU

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Page 1
    • MiserlyMartin
    • By MiserlyMartin 16th Jun 17, 1:41 AM
    • 1,872 Posts
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    MiserlyMartin
    • #2
    • 16th Jun 17, 1:41 AM
    • #2
    • 16th Jun 17, 1:41 AM
    I had thought there was nothing stopping them continuing charging crazy prices to other countries when you are the UK. After all an international phone call is just that. So if you have a Spanish mobile and you are in Spain calling the UK on it, surely you must be paying international rates to the UK? Its not just us...
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 16th Jun 17, 7:57 AM
    • 7,031 Posts
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    buglawton
    • #3
    • 16th Jun 17, 7:57 AM
    • #3
    • 16th Jun 17, 7:57 AM
    Three to Poland (and a list of 19 other countries) on PAYG is 3p/min, no catches or prefixes, so info in the MSE article is wrong. Other EU countries are included in Three's list of 20 while with a 3 digit prefix the international 3p list on Three PAYG is a long one.
    • Frozen_up_north
    • By Frozen_up_north 16th Jun 17, 9:36 AM
    • 1,296 Posts
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    Frozen_up_north
    • #4
    • 16th Jun 17, 9:36 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Jun 17, 9:36 AM
    Three to Poland (and a list of 19 other countries) on PAYG is 3p/min, no catches or prefixes, so info in the MSE article is wrong. Other EU countries are included in Three's list of 20 while with a 3 digit prefix the international 3p list on Three PAYG is a long one.
    Originally posted by buglawton
    Unfortunately, on a contract with Three it costs 46p/min to call a Spanish number from the UK, why it's such a difference to their PAYG @ 3p/min is beyond me. As with all things mobile phone related, it pays to do your research and not assume anything!
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 16th Jun 17, 12:24 PM
    • 7,031 Posts
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    buglawton
    • #5
    • 16th Jun 17, 12:24 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Jun 17, 12:24 PM
    Unfortunately, on a contract with Three it costs 46p/min to call a Spanish number from the UK, why it's such a difference to their PAYG @ 3p/min is beyond me. As with all things mobile phone related, it pays to do your research and not assume anything!
    Originally posted by Frozen_up_north
    I know, it's barmy, PAYG better than contract.
    I stick to PAYG these days anyway as there are so many ways, roaming or not, to accidentally rack up a huge data bill on contract.

    And with PAYG I don't need to lock my SIM in case of phone theft, that's another way to rack up £100s.
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 16th Jun 17, 12:27 PM
    • 7,031 Posts
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    buglawton
    • #6
    • 16th Jun 17, 12:27 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Jun 17, 12:27 PM
    I had thought there was nothing stopping them continuing charging crazy prices to other countries when you are the UK. After all an international phone call is just that. So if you have a Spanish mobile and you are in Spain calling the UK on it, surely you must be paying international rates to the UK? Its not just us...
    Originally posted by MiserlyMartin
    I think the eventual goal of the EU mandarin is flat pricing across whole EU, this would make it even better that analogous situations between US states or Chinese provinces.
    • phillw
    • By phillw 17th Jun 17, 10:02 AM
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    phillw
    • #7
    • 17th Jun 17, 10:02 AM
    • #7
    • 17th Jun 17, 10:02 AM
    "After all, it's a bit bizarre that if you call to book a Spanish restaurant on your UK mobile from home before you jet off, you'll pay a whopping international call cost, but save making the booking call until you arrive in Spain and it'd count as part of your free minutes."

    This isn't bizarre at all. You are in Spain, making a local phone call. The only thing that is transmitted internationally is the billing data, which is small and is probably batched up as it can take days.

    "And it's even more bizarre that if you call your grandma in Poland on your UK mobile while in Spain, that's part of your free minutes too."

    That is bizarre and it wouldn't surprise me if it's either untrue, or will be corrected later. As they are having to transport your call internationally, so it justifiably is an international call.
    • Plus
    • By Plus 17th Jun 17, 1:23 PM
    • 245 Posts
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    Plus
    • #8
    • 17th Jun 17, 1:23 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Jun 17, 1:23 PM
    "And it's even more bizarre that if you call your grandma in Poland on your UK mobile while in Spain, that's part of your free minutes too."

    That is bizarre and it wouldn't surprise me if it's either untrue, or will be corrected later. As they are having to transport your call internationally, so it justifiably is an international call.
    Originally posted by phillw
    It's not really. The cost for carrying the call internationally is now basically zero. That's why you can Skype or WhatsApp without caring too much about borders. The main bit that costs is the local infrastructure (the tower and its backhaul) and the billing (yes you have to pay to pay).
    For WhatsApp etc you provide the local infrastructure (your home or mobile internet connection) and pay somebody else for it, which is why WhatsApp is so cheap.

    Also a call from a UK mobile in Spain to a Spanish mobile is actually backhauled via the UK - that's how roaming works.

    The reason for the bizarreness is that the EU has powers to regulate roaming between member states, but not within member states. So a UK network is free to fleece you for UK to UK calls, but the EU can prevent them fleecing you when calling between countries.

    More charitably, the market for UK calls is competitive (lots of deals based on X mins/texts/MB) but the market for EU roaming is not competitive (try to find a UK network offering deals calling from one EU country to another - I've never seen one I'd ever want to use full-time). The EU has the option to either make it competitive (which it shows no sign of doing) or regulate. I think regulation is the only way to have a real 'single market' here.

    So instead of moaning about EU bizarreness the question we should now be asking the UK regulator is: why are people still paying 46p/min to call Spain from the UK, when that bears no relation whatever to the costs to the network of doing so? It's a punitive charge that's purely a cash-cow, right? And one they don't exactly shout on billboards.
    • ryan121
    • By ryan121 18th Jun 17, 1:41 AM
    • 121 Posts
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    ryan121
    • #9
    • 18th Jun 17, 1:41 AM
    • #9
    • 18th Jun 17, 1:41 AM
    How is it bizarre? You aren't roaming when in the UK. These new rules apply to roaming.

    This post seems to show a lack of understanding of the problem the EU was trying to solve here.
    • d123
    • By d123 18th Jun 17, 10:56 AM
    • 6,735 Posts
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    d123
    "And it's even more bizarre that if you call your grandma in Poland on your UK mobile while in Spain, that's part of your free minutes too."

    That is bizarre and it wouldn't surprise me if it's either untrue, or will be corrected later. As they are having to transport your call internationally, so it justifiably is an international call.
    Originally posted by phillw
    What is really bizarre is the number of people online that can't get the difference between roaming and home use.

    The EU has no power to regulate costs while in your home market so it's still open to rip off by companies doing things like the 46p call to Spain (if you're on contract) while their costs are obviously below 3p (their PAYG rate).

    The EU has regulated the roaming market (only) to make it a single market, hence the UK caller being able to call Poland from Spain as a standard call.
    ====
    • phillw
    • By phillw 18th Jun 17, 11:31 AM
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    phillw
    The EU has regulated the roaming market (only) to make it a single market, hence the UK caller being able to call Poland from Spain as a standard call.
    Originally posted by d123
    This isn't logical & doesn't match their press release.

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-17-1590_en.htm

    "From now on, citizens who travel within the EU will be able to call, text and connect on their mobile devices at the same price as they pay at home. "

    In your example calling Poland is not going to be the same price as they pay at home. But it appears that if you dig into the detail then their press release is indeed wrong. If people start taking advantage then the costs to us will go up, or the EU will change the rule.

    You have to spend more time at home than you do roaming to qualify though, if you spend more time roaming then your provider can contact you and start charging you roaming fees again.
    Last edited by phillw; 18-06-2017 at 11:43 AM.
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 18th Jun 17, 11:37 AM
    • 1,969 Posts
    • 2,480 Thanks
    unforeseen
    What is really bizarre is the number of people online that can't get the difference between roaming and home use.
    Originally posted by d123
    And that includes MSE Staff posting this sort of thing without actually understanding it, considering the resources available to them to ensure what they post is accurate.

    It appears the dumbing down is contagious and has spread from the forum members upward
    • d123
    • By d123 18th Jun 17, 12:27 PM
    • 6,735 Posts
    • 4,299 Thanks
    d123
    This isn't logical & doesn't match their press release.

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-17-1590_en.htm

    "From now on, citizens who travel within the EU will be able to call, text and connect on their mobile devices at the same price as they pay at home. "

    In your example calling Poland is not going to be the same price as they pay at home. But it appears that if you dig into the detail then their press release is indeed wrong. If people start taking advantage then the costs to us will go up, or the EU will change the rule.

    You have to spend more time at home than you do roaming to qualify though, if you spend more time roaming then your provider can contact you and start charging you roaming fees again.
    Originally posted by phillw
    That's another oversimplified explanation.

    Fair use and roaming use is explained in more depth at http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/telecoms-internet/mobile-roaming-costs/index_en.htm

    This is an excerpt, go to the link to read the full document.

    Roam like at home

    The EU "roam like at home" rules mean that when you use your mobile phone while travelling outside your home country in any EU country you don't have to pay any additional roaming charges. You benefit from these rules when calling (to mobile and fixed phones), sending text messages (SMS) and using data services while abroad.

    Fair use policy - monitoring

    As part of their fair use policy, your operator can monitor and check your roaming use over a 4 month period. If, during this period, you have spent more time abroad than at home and your roaming exceeds your domestic usage, your operator may contact you and ask you to clarify your situation.

    You will have 14 days to do so.

    If you continue to spend more time abroad than you do at home and your roaming consumption continues to exceed your domestic usage your operator may start applying a surcharge to your roaming consumption. The surcharges (excluding VAT) are capped as follows:

    3.2 cents per minute of voice call made
    1 cent per SMS
    €7.70 per GB of data (cap in 2017)
    The cap for data will progressively decrease on 1 January each year as from 2018 as follows: €6, €4.50, €3.50, €3 to €2.50 in 2022. The cap after 2019 may be revised following a review of the wholesale roaming markets in 2019.

    Fair use policy - cross border workers

    If you work in one EU country and live in a different one, you can choose a mobile operator in either country and roam like at home with a SIM from the country where you live or from the country where you work.

    The roam like at home fair use policy applies: as long as you log on at least once a day to your domestic operator's network, it will count as a day of presence (even if you go abroad the same day).

    Calling from home / roaming outside the EU

    Calling another EU or non-EU country from home is not considered as roaming so the roam like at home rules don't apply. You should be aware that the prices for these calls are not regulated and can be expensive.
    ====
    • Ian011
    • By Ian011 18th Jun 17, 12:33 PM
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    Ian011
    "Paying the same as you pay at home" is too simplistic a statement and has led to a lot of confusion - mine included for a few days.

    You might think it means that if you are roaming in the EU and call a landline or mobile number in some other EU country, you will pay the same for that call as you would pay for a call to a landline or mobile number in that EU country when that call is made from the UK. You don't. That is not how it works.

    The "roam like home" rules ensure that if you are roaming in an EU country and you call a landline or mobile number in any EU country (the UK, the country you are in, or another EU country) you will pay the same as you would for a call from the UK to another UK landline or mobile number.
    Last edited by Ian011; 18-06-2017 at 1:19 PM.
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