Roam if you want to

After much procrastination I’ve finally got round to filing various bills, and I’ve discovered that in a period of ten days I managed to run up a mobile phone bill of £260 – despite being a very occasional mobile user. The culprit is international roaming, because I had to make a few calls when I was on holiday and then again when I was in the US to cover a product launch. One reasonably short call to my wife cost a rather alarming £20.

The rates (I’m on Orange) can make your bills very scary if you don’t use your phone sparingly when abroad: if you’re in Spain, calls cost 70p per minute, it’s 30p/min to receive calls and it’s 30p per SMS message. In the US it’s even more: £1.10 per minute for outgoing calls, 65p/min for incoming calls and 35p per SMS text. And billing is per minute, not per second, so a 1 minute 1 second call is charged as a 2 minute call. Thankfully I didn’t use my phone for data access, which I suspect would have cost a million pounds per minute.

By comparison, Spanish cybercafes charge 2 Euros for an hour’s net access. Next time I travel abroad, I’m sticking to email.

2 thoughts on “Roam if you want to

  1. Squander Two says:

    When we went to the US, Vic was on business, so had to use her phone constantly. Of course, she gets to put the bill on expenses, but, still, you should have seen the size of the thing. Scary.

    What pisses me off is that, if Vic & I are both on holiday in the same place, we still both have to pay international rates to call each other. First network to get rid of that practice will make a killing in new custom.

  2. Gary says:

    Definitely. Incidentally, I do think that the price of calls and roaming is one reason why Joe Punter hasn’t really embraced video messaging and other high-tech phone goodies.

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