Ofcom has introduced new rules to improve transparency on roaming charges

Beginning October 1, 2024, Ofcom mandates clearer disclosure of roaming charges for international mobile users. Operators are required to furnish transparent details on charges, fair usage limits, and spend caps.

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The Office of Communications (Ofcom), the UK’s telecommunications regulator, has introduced new rules to improve transparency regarding roaming charges for mobile network users traveling abroad. These regulations, effective from October 1, 2024, mandate operators to provide customers with clear information on roaming charges and options to manage expenses. This initiative follows the UK’s departure from the European Union, rendering the EU’s ‘roam like at home’ rules obsolete.

Here are the key updates :

  • Roaming Alerts: Mobile service providers are now required to send roaming alerts to customers when they begin roaming, both within the EU and in other global destinations. These alerts must contain comprehensive information about charges, fair usage limits, time-limited charges, and options to specify or modify a mobile bill limit. Customers will also be directed to additional resources for clear and accessible information on roaming.
  • Protection Against Inadvertent Roaming: Providers are mandated to implement measures allowing customers to reduce or limit expenditure related to inadvertent roaming while within the UK. Additionally, clear and accurate information must be provided to customers regarding these measures, along with guidance on avoiding inadvertent roaming, especially in border regions. Notably, certain roaming usage, such as in Ireland, may be treated as domestic usage to mitigate inadvertent roaming charges.
  • Guidance and Good Practice: Providers will receive guidance accompanying the new roaming rules to ensure clarity on expectations and compliance. This guidance will also highlight examples of good practices, including effective roaming alerts and existing measures to assist customers, particularly in regions prone to inadvertent roaming such as Northern Ireland.

By enforcing these regulations, Ofcom is committed to bolstering consumer protection and satisfaction, ensuring that individuals can enjoy their travels abroad without encountering unforeseen mobile charges.