Roaming charges are back

Sailfree

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Currently I'm in Portugal and SWMBO is in UK doing Grandmother babysitting duties.

Both got SIM only contracts with 3.

Now find i can phone her but her calls to me go straight to voicemail.

Is there any company that is still offering free roaming in EU?

Being trying to investigate - all are subject to fair usage policy but "WIRED" say Sky Mobile and Tesco mobile and Giffgaff are not introducing charges. I suspect the article is out of date.

On checking and if I'm reading info correctly Sky mobile is £6 pd for roaming! Giffgaff also has a cost and talk about a "Goodybag" which I think is a invoice limit you set up on your account for EU calls Tesco is 25p p minute for Portugal to UK.

Anyone got actual experience and actual costs of the various UK mobile providers?

It appears Whats App is going to get even more usage in future!

There appears to be some add on plans for Expats - Lobster mainly for Spain (but it covers Portugal) and Devyce - both talk about keeping your original number but they can give you an additional one. These are about €7.99pm upwards but better tan Sky mobile at £6pd. Anyone know anything about them?
 
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Mistroma

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The Three website says the charge will apply from the moment you use your phone for anything however small. In practice it means you have to maintain your existing contract to avoid these charges, at least until they change the rules again. For me, it's bye-bye Three anyway!
I can confirm that point. I purposely left my Three SIM in a drawer when sailing in France for 6 months. I used the SIM to send one SMS a couple of months before returning to the UK just to keep the SIM active. I removed the SIM immediately and only replaced it just before boarding a flight from Italy to UK . The phone would not connect and I checked online later to discover roaming had been disabled and a ban enforced. I think the ban was for quite a long period, perhaps 6-12 months.

I contacted Three because I was off to Iceland for a short trip in a few weeks. Three confirmed suspension of roaming because I had been outside the UK too long. I pointed out that the SIM had been active just long enough to send one text and how did they know where the inactive SIM had been since last used in UK. Three's answer was that they only looked at last time it had been used in UK.

I escalated it and finally got them to re-enable roaming as a goodwill gesture. However, their system put the ban back in place as soon as I arrived in Iceland.

One other annoying fact was that I sent the SMS in France just before arriving in Monaco. I believe that it would have been fine from Monaco at that time as Three treated roaming there differently.
 

Hoolie

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Three seem to have some bizarre rules about roaming. My interpretation is that if you are out of the UK for more than 60 days in 2 months in a "Go Roam" country they will cut you off. If you're in the Rest of the World they will continue to charge at their RoW rates but not cut you off. Go figure!

I guess it may change as their new roaming charges come into effect.
 

Davy_S

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On checking and if I'm reading info correctly Sky mobile is £6 pd for roaming! Giffgaff also has a cost and talk about a "Goodybag" which I think is a invoice limit you set up on your account for EU calls Tesco is 25p p minute for Portugal to UK.
I can only report my experience using giffgaff, when i go on holiday i buy a goodybag (just used one) for around a tenner i get 8GB and unlimited free calls, i use it mainly to tether to my tablet, it works perfectly, and lasts for 30 days, i can renew instantly if i need to, i think giffgaff restrict you to 60 days abroad and throttle the speed when you exceed 20Gb.
 

st599

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I can only report my experience using giffgaff, when i go on holiday i buy a goodybag (just used one) for around a tenner i get 8GB and unlimited free calls, i use it mainly to tether to my tablet, it works perfectly, and lasts for 30 days, i can renew instantly if i need to, i think giffgaff restrict you to 60 days abroad and throttle the speed when you exceed 20Gb.
So from the 8GB, you only get to use 2.5 before throttling occurs? That seems a bit mean.
 

Davy_S

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So from the 8GB, you only get to use 2.5 before throttling occurs? That seems a bit mean.
Sorry, i don't quite get your maths there, from what i understand giffgaff throttle the speed when you have exceeded 20gb, i buy an 8gb goodybag and i can use all of it, where does the 2.5 come from?
 

Kelpie

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I'm with PlusNet, 15Gb for £12/month. Has worked perfectly since we arrived in Spain, but looking at the website I see that they have both a fair usage policy (restricts mobile data to 12Gb regardless of your UK allowance; this caught out SWMBO who had paid sightly more than me to get 20Gb) and a policy of cutting you off after four months if you were using the phone outside of the UK.

I think it's about as good a deal as you can get and it gives me a bit longer to find a Spanish or Portuguese SIM. Suggestions welcome.
 
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st599

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Sorry, i don't quite get your maths there, from what i understand giffgaff throttle the speed when you have exceeded 20gb, i buy an 8gb goodybag and i can use all of it, where does the 2.5 come from?
You said you paid for 8GB but throttling occurred after 20Gb (which is 2.5 GB).

Wouldn't be the first time contracts have done this. They're forever quoting speeds in Gbps because that gives them a bigger number than GBps.
 

Davy_S

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i am sure you must have known i meant 8GB and 20GB! I knew what Kelpie meant when he said,I'm with PlusNet, 15Gb for £12/month. according to you, he was on less than 2.5 GB!
 

roblpm

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Three's new offer seems to be 2 pounds per day to connect a phone to an EU network or 5 pounds per day elsewhere - it doesn't seem to make a mention of actually using the phone to trigger that.

BUT, that's the media centre announcement - until the new deal has it's rules available on the website we won't know for sure.
£150 a month! 😂 I was just in Colombia, Puerto Rico and the USA using my roaming for free. This is a pita. Local sims everywhere.....
 

Hoolie

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With those prices Three are toast for anyone travelling a lot. I'll be ditching Three when I get back to the UK in a few weeks time.
 

Sailfree

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With those prices Three are toast for anyone travelling a lot. I'll be ditching Three when I get back to the UK in a few weeks time.
I am with "3" and will ditch it as soon as i find a better deal but remember that "3" are not introducing roaming charges providing you don't change your contract.

SIM only contact for rest of my life? and buy latest phones outright from cheapest source. Most contractsget renewed to get the latest phone in a"deal" . I havr always found SIM only deals plus outright purchase of latest mobile the cheapest!
 

Koeketiene

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SIM only contact for rest of my life? and buy latest phones outright from cheapest source. Most contractsget renewed to get the latest phone in a"deal" . I havr always found SIM only deals plus outright purchase of latest mobile the cheapest!
+1 (y)
 

Hoolie

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I am with "3" and will ditch it as soon as i find a better deal but remember that "3" are not introducing roaming charges providing you don't change your contract
As posted above, my beef with Three is they have cut me off, but are still taking my money. My SIM only contract is not that good compared with current offers and I can get a similar deal now from Lebara at less than half the cost. At least for now Lebara won't apply exorbitant roaming charges!
 

nortada

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We have been with 3 for a number of years, much of the time in Portugal and to date, it has always worked well.

We have never exceed our 20GB roaming allowance but regularly exceed our time abroad. Whilst being warned that we were exceeding the terms of ‘fair usage’, subsequently, no sanctions was ever taken.

As posted before (my #102), 3 have confirmed directly to me that provided we do not change our contract, they will not apply roaming charges and there is no time limit on our existing contracts. However, I anticipate that in future they will apply the rules of fair usage strictly.

Currently in the UK so it will be interesting to see how we fair once again away for a protracted period.
 

Sailfree

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Like Nortada I am now currently in UK for 10 days and intend to Blitz local mobile usage.

I have not had any warning yet from Three but i tend to always use Whats App for all Portugal to UK calls however I suspect in future they will apply fair usage rules stricter.

Rather than everyone reinvents the wheel be good if others can report on the cheapest solution to UK for calls to and from EU that they discover.

I suspect a further problem for many like me is that I don't want to lose my UK mobile number which I have had for 40years now so everyone knows it!
 
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RobbieW

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...I suspect a further problem for many like me is that I don't want to lose my UK mobile number which I have had for 40years now so everyone knows it!
Whilst I understand there is an element of hyperbole there, the first UK mobile call was made in 1985. The prefix for mobile numbers was also changed c. 2000, from 04 to 07x, so I doubt its exactly the same number :)
 

shan

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I am with "3" and will ditch it as soon as i find a better deal but remember that "3" are not introducing roaming charges providing you don't change your contract.

SIM only contact for rest of my life? and buy latest phones outright from cheapest source. Most contractsget renewed to get the latest phone in a"deal" . I havr always found SIM only deals plus outright purchase of latest mobile the cheapest!
I don't know about 3 but EE told me that I either sign a new contract or they would shift me to new terms and pricing on a rolling 30 day tariff. I doubt 3 will be vastly different.
 
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