Martin Lewis discusses post-Brexit roaming charges abroad
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O2 customers have been told they will face a £3.50 bill for every gigabyte (GB) of data used above a new limit of 25GB from August. This comes after the Brexit trade deal signed in December left open the option of the return of roaming charges.
These charges were scrapped across the EU in 2017 and in response to the news Mr O’Brien, a staunch remainer, tweeted: “Oh.”
However, Martin Lewis – founder of Money Saving Expert – quickly took to social media to clarify.
The money-saving expert tweeted: “25GB is vastly more than most people use.
“Typical in the UK is 3GB according to our polling.
“Bit of a mountain out of a molehill, won’t affect many people.”
Mr O’Brien then responded and said: “Problem is, the phone companies can now do whatever they want.
“Previously they were limited by EU law. (I know you know this!)
“I’m more interested in all the categorical assurances that this wouldn’t/couldn’t happen and, of course, the people who made all the promises.”
But Mr Lewis hit back again and said: “Sorry James but while that’s correct this is a bad example.
“Fair usage limits (still fact-checking but 90 percent there) were in place under EU rules and would move under EU rules.
“There doesn’t seem to be anything happening here that couldn’t and didn’t happen under the old regime.”
Mr O’Brien appeared to accept defeat and replied: “I make it a rule never to argue with you. Keep me posted!”
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O2 announced the changes to its roaming charges policy in an email to its customers.
One customer said they were told: “As your monthly UK data allowance is over 25GB, you can still use your data in our Europe Zone.
“But it’s now subject to a Roaming Limit of 25GB.
“Once you’ve reached this limit you’ll be charged an additional cost of £3.50/GB.”
Following the O2 news, EE announced it would be reintroducing EU roaming charges from January next year.
This, Mr Lewis admitted, would not have been allowed under EU rules as it “looks like it may be full-blown charges”.
One person tweeted back to him and said what Mr O’Brien said would happen is happening.
But Mr Lewis responded: “That was a move allowed within EU rules.
“This is totally different and the first to break ranks.
“This is the real deal.
“This is unlikely to be predicated by O2 move yesterday, it takes far longer to do a change like this, will have been planned for a while.”
News of the reintroduction of roaming charges was announced on the five-year anniversary of when Britons voted to leave the European Union back in 2016.
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