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Gungl recommends caution when using mobiles abroad: phone calls and internet surfing can be costly

 “We frequently receive enquiries and complaints from customers who fall into the roaming trap while visiting other countries and are faced with unexpectedly high mobile phone bills. Even though there is much talk of abolishing roaming fees – we are still not there yet!” With these words Johannes Gungl, Managing Director of RTR’s Telecommunications and Postal Services Division, informed consumers on the eve of the Pentecost holiday weekend. “The harmonised euro-tariffs apply only in the 28 Member States of the European Union and in the EEA countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It is, however, possible for consumers to stipulate lower roaming tariffs with their particular service providers,” Gungl noted. 

Caution: many terms differ outside the EU and the EEA

Charges for active calls are limited to a maximum of EUR 0.228 per minute in EU and EEA countries, while passive calls may cost no more than EUR 0.06 per minute. Operators may not charge more than EUR 0.072 for each text message and receiving one is free. A maximum charge of EUR 0.24 per megabyte has been set for data roaming. Consumers can also choose to protect themselves by limiting data roaming charges to a maximum of EUR 50. Data roaming service is automatically blocked once this limit is exceeded.

“Unfortunately, many customers forget that the majority of these provisions apply only within the EUR and the EEA. At other popular holiday destinations, such as in Turkey, making calls and surfing with a mobile can get expensive. Customers can avoid problems by contacting their providers before leaving on the trip and getting precise details of the tariffs applying at their holiday destination,” Gungl advised consumers.

More information on “Mobile telecommunications and roaming” has been published on the RTR website under https://www.rtr.at/en/tk/TKKS_Roaming