Mobile operators must improve information on free roaming

Elisabeth Lier Haugseth free roamingElisabeth Lier Haugseth.Photo: Terje Bendiksby / NTB scanpix

Mobile operators must improve information given about the expenses incurred by free roaming

Even though you can now use your mobile  telephone while traveling in European countries, the extras can still add up. The Consumer Ombudsman has stated a need for improved information about so-called free roaming
.
For the past year, most mobile companies have allowed customers the use of phones in European countries on the same terms as in Norway.
On Thursday the 15th of June, legislation came into force making it illegal for mobile providers to charge more  to use mobiles in EU and EEA countries than in Norway. This applies to talking, texting and data usage.
However, there are limitations to the regulations in the case of so-called ‘free roaming’ that consumers are required to know about, pointed out Consumer Ombudsman, Elisabeth Lier Haugseth.
Mobile operators have been given the deadline of Tuesday, June the 20th, to clearly communicat  restrictions on ‘free roaming’ to consumers in all their marketing.
Haugseth said that, among other things, the rules don’t apply to calls from Norway to EU and EEA countries. Thus, there’s a risk that calls from Norway to countries abroad cost the same as before.

People believe that there is one price in Europe

‘We’ve been contacted by consumers who believed that all of Europe now has ‘one price ‘, and  thus they received surprisingly high bills. They reported that they weren’t told about this significant limitation,’ said Haugseth.
She reminded Norwegian mobile users that the new rules don’t apply on cruise ships and ferries which use their own satellites for mobile signals. Mobile use on these vessels can be very expensive, so it’s vital that consumers get full information about restriction at sea.
The Consumer Ombudsman also reminded Norwegians that it’s still lawful for operators to offer  free data usage with subscriptions, but with restrictions on how much you can surf abroad.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

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