Roaming rates: the scam of the summer?

(B2) We were happily told. From this summer, consumers could benefit from a reduced rate for calls made from their mobile abroad.

A lie out of confusion
The European Commission was loudly rejoicing in a communicated published in early July. "Thanks to the entry into force on June 30 of the European regulation on roaming charges in the EU, European consumers will benefit from lower roaming charges this summer." As in all good publicity leaflets, it is only further, in a second release, in much smaller characters, that we learned the subtlety of this novelty. In fact, the operator was required within 30 days to propose the tariff, and within 30 days to apply it to consumers. In other words, not before September 1, and therefore after the summer holidays for the average consumer.

And the telephone operators did not hesitate to apply the regulations to the letter.
According to the information published by the European Commission on its website, in 15 Member States, this service will not be operational until September (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, France, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia). In 7 other countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Spain, Hungary, Malta, Poland, United Kingdom) only one operator offered the tariff in mid-summer — 3 in Italy.

A regulation applicable to the fall rather than to the summer
In fact, there are only four operators out of the hundred in Europe - T Mobile in Germany and Luxembourg Gsm in the Grand Duchy, P4 in Poland and Optimus in Portugal - to apply this tariff to consumers - who asked - early July. Very minority operators. The Commission does not waver from its optimism. According to Commission spokesperson, half of consumers were able to benefit from the Eurotariff during the summer, in 23 countries. When we confuse “communication” and “information”, the deception on the goods is not far! It might have been more accurate to tell consumers that the regulation was applicable in the fall...


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

One thought on “Roaming rates: the scam of the summer?"

  • With Mobistar there was nevertheless the possibility of activating the roaming service from August 1st by simple request. What I did! We'll see if the invoice will show a real application of the reduced rate!

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