Roaming Withdrawn Mid-Use
We all have to live glued to our mobiles now. Not for old fashioned phone calls (I never do that) but for one-time-passcodes and two-factor-authentication in order to get anything done or paid for.
So, sympathy please for this scenario in which I find myself:
I have an MSE blagged Lebara SIM; it’s great, very cheap, 4Gb data (which I never use, more of that later) and roaming in the EU “as I can in the UK” (or rather, NOT).
As I mentioned, I use very little of my 4Gb data allowance. I don’t feel the need to monitor my social media or watch videos of influencers on Snap-Tok. I occasionally check on a Website or two when outside my home, so I doubt I use even half a gigabyte per month. However, when I travel abroad, the mobile data roaming comes into its own. I’m abroad without home broadband so I use my phone for lots of the things I use my home broadband for in UK. Particularly true when I’m away in Italy for the summer, as I am now from late May to early September without a home Internet connection. I use the phone as a hotspot so I can use a Web browser; always mindful of my data allowance, I check & monitor my usage in my account section of the Lebara App.
This scenario was working normally until one day I received this message:
“Hello, your roaming usage exceeds fair usage policies because you are using your phone more in roaming than you do at home in the UK.
As per EU regulation, an additional surcharge of 0.20p/MB for data, 0.01p/sec for incoming calls, 0.04p/sec for outgoing calls and 0.8p per SMS will start to apply after 15 days of this notification. To avoid this extra cost, please use your phone more within the UK than you do in the EU. To continue using the service in roaming with this additional surcharge, you will require top up credit. To get additional top up, visit [Lebara Website]. For more details on roaming visit [Lebara Website]”
!!!!!!??? I’m being penalised for NOT using much data in UK and then using it WHEN I ACTUALLY NEED IT? I rang Lebara of course, who disclaimed all responsibility or assistance, as it’s an EU regulation. I was nice & friendly and asked for this to be removed because I still have six weeks abroad and will be adrift without any connectivity but they said it happens automatically and they can’t change it. Of course they drew my attention to all this being in the Ts&Cs (which are there to read thoroughly & carefully before travelling because one has nothing better to do).
Of course, I have an Italian PAYG phone for random Internet browsing but I can’t get OTPs or MFA with a foreign number.
So now I’m stuck. And in the future, when I get back to UK, I shall have to diary an action for a couple of days before my monthly contract rollover to play streaming movies constantly to use up my data for the month and avoid this happening in the future!
How counter-productive, stupid, irrational, unhelpful and irritating is this? Oh, wait, “EU Regulation” just about sums that up doesn’t it?
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