Complaining about an unfair roaming charge: what are my options?

phone

So, we have looked at ways to minimise or avoid roaming charges. Despite this, thousands of mobile phone users take their phones abroad and are charged heftily just to browse the internet or make calls. But what are the options if you want to complain about roaming charges?

 

The good news is that the future is bright. The EU plans to scrap roaming charges from July 2014. This is as a result of the EU trying to turn the telecoms sector into a single market and to compete with the markets in America and Asia. The directive is that all telecoms companies should be allowed to provide coverage throught the European Union. Users will get the same charge throughout Europe. This would also mean companies such as mobidata, O2 and Orange would be able to target customers across the European Union.

 

There are substantial reports that some users still get hit with roaming charges even when they believe they have turned roaming off. Some blame a glitch in the software. If you believe this has happened to you, then your first port of call should always be your network provider. All network providers provide helplines where you can get in contact and state your case. Make sure your software on your smartphone is fully updated with the current operating system, to be sure that you have protected yourself fully. It seems results from complaining to network operators have been hit and miss. But it is worth it, as you may be refunded in full.

 

If this still does not work then the Ombudsman Service approved by Ofcom may be able to help. Ofcom is the independent regulator for the UK communications industry. You as a user have the right to complain to the Ombudsman Service if you feel your complaint has not been dealt with sufficiently by your mobile phone company. What’s more, communications customers are not charged for the service. As they are independent, you can be more certain you are getting quality advice and that you will be dealt with impartially.

 

Another Ofcom approved service is the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS). Whether you use this or the Ombudsman Service depends on your network. So check on the links and read further.

 

So, the most important thing to do until the European Union changes to roaming charges are put in place is to read the guide on minimising roaming charges and make sure you have adequate measures in place to make your trip as value-for-money as possible, as far as phone charges are concerned. This will be especially more pressing outside of the European Union, where the proposed changes will not take effect. Failing that, if you do get home to face a large bill, get in touch with your network provider or one of the Ofcom approved companies if you still have no joy. Your remaining option is to vote with your feet and go elsewhere for your phone services.

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