Mobile roaming charges must fall, says House of Lords

Government urged to act over mobile roaming charges which have left long-suffering Brits lumbered with massive mobile phone bills when they leave the UK

The only thing worse than a post-holiday hangover is getting your mobile phone bill a few weeks later and seeing what little cash you had left swallowed-up by those regrettable £1.30 per minute calls back home.

Well your Spanish sojourn could soon be a little less expensive thanks to an obscure government sub-committee who wants to rein in mobile companies across the EU on what they charge for making out-of-country calls and texts.

The, wait for it, House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on the Internal Market, Energy and Transport Committee has written to, wait for it, Minister for Culture, Communications & Creative Industries Ed Vaizey to recommend the "unacceptably high" roaming charges come down.

The sub-committee wants to see introduced price caps introduced and for networks to, shock horror, put the customer first.

“For too long consumers have been left in the dark as to roaming charges, leading to ‘bill shock’ when people use their phones abroad," said Baroness O'Cathain, chairman of the committee.

"The industry will not reduce its prices voluntarily, and the EU needs to keep up its system of price caps in order to drive costs down. But retail price caps are only an interim solution: the EU must put in place more sustainable solutions, and by doing so develop a truly competitive marketplace in the longer-term. If they do, then we can finally start to see the consumer being put first in an area where their interests have too often been neglected.”

We'd love to see European data charges fall. A few years ago, a young(ish) tech reporter starting out on T3 was sent to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona armed with a Vodafone UK mobile broadband dongle and charged with uploading video.

Needless to say, he racked-up data charges akin to a great portion of his yearly salary. He shall remain nameless.

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