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How To Avoid High Mobile Phone Costs When Travelling Abroad

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Although our mobile phone keeps us in touch with home while we’re enjoying a holiday away, or travelling on business, we can incur heavy call charges without realising it. Worse our phone can be lost or be stolen. Here are some tips to help minimise the damage:
Check with your local mobile phone shop or service provider and make sure it is set to cover your destination abroad, and that you are on the right tariff. Nothing is more infuriating to discover the phone doesn’t work after you’ve arrived at your destination.
Keep your phone and Sim card safe at all times and if you don’t need to use it, leave it in the hotel safe along with any other valuables.
Smartphones allow to surf the internet, download videos, photos and emails but downloading while abroad incurs ‘data-roaming’ charges that can be far higher than the cost of an ordinary call or text. For example: downloading one gigabyte on a smartphone in the UK can cost as little as £7.50 a month, the equivalent use abroad could cost several thousand pounds!
For those holidaying in Europe an EU ruling obliges mobile phone companies to cap data charges at £50. Customers who exceed this amount and wish to spend more can opt out of the limit, but these rules don’t protect travellers going further afield.
The cost of downloading a 30-min video out of continental Europe can cost as much as £2,400, while the cost of downloading 50 pictures will set you back around £320.
Switching on a smartphone to check emails, TV programmes online, and posting photos of your holiday on Facebook can also incur heavy charges.
If your phone is lost or stolen this must be reported immediately to your provider, who will put a bar in place and take responsibility for any further calls or date usage made from then until the bar is effective. They can always remove the bar if the phone turns up. One customer had a bill of £8,200 waiting at home when his mobile was stolen because he didn’t report the theft quickly enough to his provider.
Don’t assume that your phone is password protected against unauthorised usage, because the password is protecting the handset not the Sim card, which can be inserted into another phone and used.
Also report any theft to the local police and make sure you get a crime reference number for insurance purposes.
Even if you can prove you weren’t in the location where the stolen phone was being used, the service providers aren’t under any obligation to reduce the charges.
For holiday makers who want to ensure they are fully protected, it is vital to check with the operator just how much calls, texts and internet use will cost when you’re abroad, and, most importantly if there is a cheaper international tariff available.
Never leave a mobile unguarded.
It’s the Sim card that is targeted by thieves rather than the handset
Many of the insurance policies sold by the phone networks don’t cover call charges if your mobile is stolen.


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