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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Whiteford supports new rules to stop holiday mobile bill shock

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford has welcomed new rules which will stop people facing big mobile phone bills when they return from holidays in Europe.

With internet access on mobile phones it has never been easier to stay in touch with what’s going on at home. However, coming back from holiday to a huge mobile phone bill can be a nasty surprise. New European rules on roaming charges should make this ‘bill shock’ a thing of the past.

All mobile companies now have to apply a cut-off limit once a customer’s mobile internet bill reaches €50 – around £40 – per month, while in the EU. This will happen automatically, unless they opt out. Alternately, customers can select their own limit.

Mobile companies must also send customers a text message or email when they reach 80% and then 100% of the agreed limit. They must then stop providing and charging for that mobile internet service when the limit is met unless the consumer re-authorises their account.

The SNP MP welcomed the new rules as a way of protecting consumers from the shock of a high bill when returning from holidays.

Commenting on the issue, Dr Whiteford said:

"When a customer enters a different EU country, operators must send a welcome SMS/text message with basic price information on roaming services, a free phone number for more detailed price information, and the 112 emergency number. They must also send a reminder of data roaming prices when the customer first connects to that service in a different EU country. I've received a lot of e-mails from constituents on this issue and these changes should go a long way to resolving the issue."

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