Holiday Mobile Phone Users Risk Being Stung By High Phone Bills
Published: 10 June 2011
By Peter Thompson Leave a Comment
Updated: 10 June 2011
Many mobile phone users will get an unexpected shock when they receive their phone bills on returning from holiday.
According to uSwitch.com, whilst some 71% of people plan to take their mobiles on holiday with them, only around 20% of them will check their overseas charges, such as roaming charges, before they go.
Many will have no idea what they will be charged but despite this will continue to use their phones.
Nearly half of mobile phone users have been stung by roaming charges and been hit with an average bill of nearly £150.
The minute you switch on abroad and your phone registers onto a local network you will be billed at overseas rates – you will have to pay to receive calls, for someone leaving you a voicemail message and to pick up voicemail messages.
A third admit they will use their phone abroad to check emails and nearly a quarter intend to use Twitter or Facebook on their phone. Nearly 30% will browse the internet when they’re away, a quarter will use app. 16% will check the weather and 14% will even risk racking up high bills to check their work emails.
Ernest Doku, technology expert at uSwitch.com, says: “Contacting your mobile phone network should be high on every mobile user’s holiday checklist, alongside packing your passport and sun cream.
“You could opt for a special roaming tariff like one in ten savvy Brits do, fix a cap or even using a cut price local SIM card. But if this seems like too much effort, or you run out of time, at least ask your network to switch off your voicemail service before you leave the UK to avoid these hidden charges – over two thirds of Brits are missing this simple trick. “
He added “But with smart phones taking over, one of the biggest ways to get burnt while abroad is by the high cost of data roaming. Mobile internet users must ensure they check that this is turned off when not in use to prevent online services such as email updating automatically.
“And although telling your friends about the bar or the hotel pool on Facebook or Twitter may be difficult to resist, it’s best to avoid visiting sites like these which are heavy on the visuals, as data is charged per megabyte.”
Diane Ray at MoneyHighStreet.com comments: “Having been stung myself by these roaming charges I would urge all to follow the advice from Ernest Doku and contact your mobile phone network before heading off on holiday.
“You can then ensure you get the best deal for your phone needs abroad. At the very least you can make sure you understand the costs you are going to incur so that you are not faced with a surprisingly large bill on your return from holiday.”