Orange goes a bundle with euro roaming
Daily safety net
Chewing up data by phone or 3G data card when abroad is a reliable method of chewing up money.
Even with a roaming plan in place, even when travelling within the EU, it is all too easy to clock up punitive charges. That may not be so important to people who travel abroad a lot. These profitable customers tend to have employers who foot the bills - and who tell them off when they go off piste with their dongles.
But what about the holiday makers and the occasional travellers with their shiny new iphones? Orange has a plan for you. Today it introduces a €2 for 2MB Travel Data Daily roaming tariff for customers in selected countries using mobile internet services anywhere in the EU. (The local pricing equivalent for UK customers is £2 per MB, so we are paying more than consumers within the Euro-zone).
This opt-in bundle is designed for email, internet surfing and social networking usage levels. Without the bundle, data roaming costs £3 per MB. As a safety net, Orange will send a text message to customers, warning them when they are approaching their daily limit. But is it be too much for Orange to allow for automatic opt-in and to charge £2 per MB, full stop?
And what about heavier users? In France, Orange's home territory, the cellco is launching a €5 for 10MB daily data roaming rate for iPhone customers. Other countries will follow, Orange says. Also, for business users, the company has introduced a 50MB a day roaming allowance for £7 plus VAT. ®
Cheaper, or not
Default Orange tariff for those who are oblivious to the options available to them (the majority of customers), is the £2 per Mb.
However for the grand total of £0 you can change to a daily capped rate where you pay the £2 and nothing more no matter what you use, except, erm, subject to fair use of course! Still, you can happily go through a lot of data for email and browsing on the phone without going over the cap. You do however have to change to that tariff and need to know it exists (it's on their online account thingy though).
But in Europe... no cap. So you continue paying.
That's not the real rip off though. Look at US and Canada. £8 per Mb !!. Roaming data bundles are extortionate as well.
Only 100x the usual price?
It's obvious they're still aiming for the "I had no idea they'd charge me that much!!" crowd, rather than trying to convince anyone it's worth using these services deliberately.
I could see myself paying twice, maybe even three times the amount I pay at home, but this is *over one hundred times* the average price for data usage. Ridiculous.