Vodafone gives up on roaming charges
No never, no more - till September
Vodafone UK is to give up roaming charges to 45 countries, charging travellers only their usual rates for calls and messages home - though they'll still pay through the nose for data.
The Passport service has been around for a while. Users sign up for free and then pay a 64p connection charge for each call which then drops to their usual rate - zero for incoming calls. This change removes that charge and adds text and MMS messaging, as well as putting another ten countries to the supported list and - strangely - removing Japan.
So a punter in France phoning a local hotel gets to use his bundled minutes, which are also used for calls home and even calls to a mate's mobile - and if his mate is on Vodafone too then there'll be no charge to receive the call, even if his mate is in France with him.
Said punter can also happily leave his phone on, in the knowledge that he won't have to pay for incoming calls or messages. The only time he'll pay proper rates is when calling a third country, when the international rate still applies even if he's calling to find out why his mate has wandered into Germany.
The range of countries supported* should cover the vast majority of holidaymakers, and businessmen, as long as they're not planning to cross the pond - meaning it should make a significant difference to mobile phone use over the summer. Still, some might miss the excuse that enabled them to keep the mobile switched off while taking a break. ®
Did we mention that this is a limited-time offer, from June 1 to end of August? No? Well, it is. The more observant will have noticed that it's 45 regions, not countries - we'll leave you to work out which is which.
* That list in full: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Channel Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroes, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Vatican City.
Suspect the idea if this is to get more PAYG people to sign-up to Passport and then forget about it.
That way they'll make more out of the passport connection fee + UK rates than from a "full price" international call ... after all with the EU rate limits then calls from Europe are getting close to the price of UK calls on PAYG! Meanwhile, its 4x cheaper in the UK to phone someone in Eastern Europe, or India etc than it is to call someone next door!
@ Anonymous coward with the £160 usage
Interestingly enough, if you are abroad and using your UK mobile number, anyone calling you from the UK is charged at the same rate as if you had been in the UK (thats the good bit about roaming). The 75p charge is a connection setup (which will be waived if the above is correct during June, July and August), and then you use your home tariff, so if you have minutes available you can use them. E.G. a 25 minute call from Portugal to the UK would cost about £10 on the roaming rates, but on Vodafone Passport (providing you have UK minutes available) would cost you 75pence including VAT (YES, THATS 75 PENCE, 3/4 of a pound, 75 pennies, or a 50p + a 20p + a 5p coin - or any combination of coin of the realm that totals up to 75p) and 25 of your inclusive minutes. Receiving a call is cheap as well. You could ring me if I was in a passport country, and it would cost me 75p to receive the call, and I would be able to chat away for 1 hour on that call at no further cost to myself.
QUOTE "This deal seems good for those who need to be in contact with people back in the UK, but for local calls is still better and cheaper (for both parties) to get a local sim card. Remember that those calling you locally on a UK network are calling an international number and get charged big time"
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE explain how ringing a portugese number would work out cheaper for someone in the UK to ring from their mobile, than ringing a UK number and using their inclusive minutes?????
mines the flame retardant one, with the matching tin-foil hat
Wandered into Germany???
Surely, if I was in france, and rang my mates UK mobile to find out that he was in Germany, your report is incorrect, as I would be ringing a UK mobile number, and therefor it would be a free call from my minutes.
And to think I tell my kids off for spotting this sort of thing when I tell them something....