Roaming is for roaming

Since the 15th June 2017 we’ve been able to use our UK phone plans in Europe and mostly without extra costs.

Here’s an excerpt from the European Commission:

If a person has unlimited calls and SMS, they will get unlimited calls and SMS when roaming in the EU. However if a person has unlimited mobile data or very cheap mobile data at home, his* operator may apply a safeguard (fair use) limit on data use while roaming.

*We assume this means anyone not identifying as male, too…

“Roam like you’re at home in Europe, and call/text anywhere as part of your plan,” they say…

You might think this applies to foreign calls from the UK, but sadly not. The EU roaming law only applies when, well, you’re roaming. At home you’re not roaming and it’s an opportunity for networks to charge users more. It’s an industry-wide issue and everyone is complicit, us included.

What to do?

Use Signal, Viber or FaceTime, and there’s also WhatsApp which I begrudgingly still use – if you read my post on Facebook, you know my thoughts about those folks.

All the above are free and end-to-end encrypted meaning no-one can read your messages, much to the frustration of our government… But apps can still be hacked if developers leave side doors open, meaning it’s theoretically possible to access previously-encrypted messages. Needless to say, some apps are more trusted than others; Edward Snowden regularly uses Signal for what it’s worth, though they’ve had issues as well.

In case you’re wondering…

With Zevvle, calls from the UK to EU countries cost 15p per minute, and messages (SMS & MMS) are 10p each.

You can check all our international calling rates here.

Tim Goodall