Virgin Media O2 – which owns both the O2 and Virgin Mobile networks – has announced a U-turn on European roaming charges for UK customers following Brexit…
Normally when you travel outside your own country and continue to use your own SIM, you will pay “roaming” charges for calls, texts, and data. In some cases, these charges will be extremely high, and in others, they will be charged at a fixed daily rate.
An agreement between members of the European Union means that EU citizens can travel freely between all 27 member countries without incurring any roaming charges. Mobile carriers have to continue to charge customers the same rates they do in their own country, and to honor all inclusive allowances.
Brexit ended that requirement for UK carriers, but all four major ones initially promised they would not introduce roaming charges. All four then broke that promise, including O2.
Virgin Media O2 now says no charges will apply
However, BBC News now reports that roaming charges will no longer be applied on O2 and Virgin Mobile networks.
“We’re starting the year by giving our customers some certainty: we will not be reintroducing roaming fees in Europe for customers on O2 or Virgin Mobile,” said Gareth Turpin, chief commercial officer.
“With many Brits now looking to plan a trip abroad, we’ve got our customers covered and extra roaming charges will be one less thing to worry about.”
The company claims this will save its customers around £100 ($136) a year.
Virgin Media O2 said a family of four going abroad for two weeks could see an extra £100 on their bill, based on analysis of rates from other providers.
The hope is that this will apply competitive pressure on the other carriers to also rethink their plans.
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