Today is June 15th 2017. This article, though, will be ignored by many.
For reasons I can’t quite understand, it’s difficult to get clear and concise information across to some.
I noticed this at the airport recently. We’d just landing at BHX (Birmingham Airport) and, despite standing next to the luggage belt for Cyprus and next to one from Spain, I was a little puzzled by what happened next. The bags arrived, people loaded up, turned around and everybody – I mean everybody – went out through the “Nothing to declare” (green) lane. Not one person went through the less congested “Arrivals from the EU” lane.
You’ve JUST BEEN to a European country and you’re ARRIVING INTO a European country. Why queue for the green lane when there’s an empty corridor for EU arrivals? Honestly, you could put, “Free cash if you walk down here” and people would still go down the green lane.
Anyway. Today marks a big change for mobile phone users roaming around Europe. I’m going to put this in a huge font, because – like the many tax discs still in cars up and down the land – it’s going to take many years for this message to be properly drilled into the national consciousness.
CALLS, TEXTS AND DATA WILL COST THE SAME,
NO MATTER WHICH EU COUNTRY YOU ARE IN.
So, if you live in Cardiff, London, Birmingham or Manchester – anywhere in the UK – your phone usage will now cost the same in Paris, Barcelona, Larnaca, Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid, Rome or Prague as it does back at home.
YOU NO LONGER HAVE TO TURN DATA OFF.
Use your phone just as you would back home. No big bill shocks.
Why? The European Parliament has, for the benefit of us EU residents (yes, that includes Britain still – we’re in the EU for a long while yet), implemented a new law to stop bill shock.
Your normal tariff will apply. No more text messages with inflated costs when you land in an EU country. It’s the same as home. All mobile operators, despite some attempts to dress this up as a “bonus” for the customers – HAVE to offer EU roaming services at domestic prices.
The legislation was first proposed back in 2013, but it took until October 2015 for the European Parliament and the Council to agree a date – June 15th 2017- TODAY!
So please, please, when you’re at the gate for your EU flight and overhear someone saying, “Turn the phone off, it’ll cost a fortune!” Give them a nudge. Share the knowledge. When you’re on the beach in Magaluf or you’re clubbing in Ibiza, carry on Tweeting, Facebooking, calling and texting as you were. We’re all (for the moment) part of the EU, and we’re all going to be paying the same as we do back home, no matter which EU country we’re visiting.
It’s just another benefit of being part of the EU. Eh .. Britain?
Here’s the full details, but do check the “fair usage” on your plan or with your current mobile provider.