Virgin Media O2

Virgin Media O2 refuses to bring back roaming charges for UK users in Europe

Roaming charges are additional fees charged for making calls, sending texts and using internet data whilst overseas.

Despite other major networks bringing back roaming charges, users of the Virgin Media O2 phone network will not face roaming charges this year .

O2 and Virgin Mobile have said they will maintain their inclusive roaming in the bloc, so their customers can travel and use their data, calls and texts just as they would in the UK.

According to the company, a family of four on Virgin or O2 who go abroad for two weeks could save £100 on their bill, based on analysis of rates from other providers.

Virgin Media O2’s Gareth Turpin said:

“We’re starting the year by giving our customers some certainty: we will not be reintroducing roaming fees in Europe for customers on O2 or Virgin Mobile.

“Unlike all the other major mobile networks who are bringing back roaming fees, we will not be following suit.

“With many Brits now looking to plan a trip abroad, we’ve got our customers covered and extra roaming charges will be one less thing to worry about.”

Despite promising not to in 2019, Three was the third UK operator to officially reintroduce roaming charges, following the swift U-turn by EE who introduced roaming charges in June of this year, swiftly followed by Vodafone.

Since 2017, mobile networks in EU countries have been banned by law from charging customers extra to use their phones in other member countries. Legislation scrapping roaming charges within the single market was introduced after multiple cases of so-called “bill shock”, in which holidaymakers returned home from foreign breaks to be presented with bills of thousands of pounds for using their phones to connect to the internet while abroad.

In January EE, O2, Three and Vodafone all said they had no plans to reintroduce roaming charges even though the UK’s departure from the EU enabled them to do so.

The trade deal between the UK and the EU states that both sides will encourage mobile operators to have “transparent and reasonable rates” when it comes to roaming.

EE customers who joined or upgraded after 7 July last year face a £2 daily charge for using their data, making calls, or sending text messages in EU countries.

The same charge will apply to customers who joined Vodafone after 11 August 2021, or upgraded or renewed their contract.

Three introduces the £2 daily charge on 23 May, for customers who joined the network or upgraded after 1 October.

EE customers who want to avoid the full roaming charge can buy a 30-day Roam Abroad Pass for £10 while Vodafone users can pay £1 a day for an eight or 15-day multipass.