Football fans face massive phone bills from Russia World Cup

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Football fans heading to this year’s World Cup could face roaming bills of £3,696 for a 14-day trip to Russia, according to research by price comparison site uSwitch.com.

With the tournament just weeks away, supporters and holidaymakers are being warned that mobile roaming fees for a two-week trip could well cost as much as a family holiday for four to Los Angeles, staying in a four star hotel.

With average outgoing call charges of £2.07 per minute, based on daily usage of just five calls, 10 texts and listening to one voicemail, Brits could be charged as much as £53.51 a day. 

Meanwhile, average data costs of £4.37 per MB means average usage (including checking emails, and streaming music) could see data bills alone adding up to £210.51 per day.

However, to rack up this substantial bill, a user would have to opt out of the data roaming cap that networks automatically apply to protect customers. This cap is set between £10 and £51 depending on your provider.

According to uSwitch.com, one in five (20%) Brits have previously returned from abroad to find their phone bill was higher than usual – coming home to typically £63 more than the amount they were expecting.

Most of these extra charges are incurred through travellers forgetting to turn off data roaming when they arrived at their destination (32%), while a quarter (25%) were under the misbelief that their WiFi was turned on when it wasn’t, and 16% had to use their phone in an emergency.

Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com, says:

“The rule when it comes to roaming is to plan ahead. With a single MB of data costing as much as £7.20 in Russia, there are plenty of reasons that travellers and football fans alike need to be wary when roaming outside of the EU.

“With data costs so high, even with a small amount of usage users can quickly hit the protective cap and there’s a real temptation to opt out. It’s important to note that unbridled roaming after doing so could see your bills soar.

“With the World Cup kicking off in less than a month and the summer holidays fast approaching, it’s well worth looking now at the roaming deals on the market to make sure you don’t get stung by sky-high bills when you return.”

Russia: pay monthly charges

The table below shows the charges for pay monthly customers roaming in Russia across the different networks, and as an average cost, as well as any roaming add-ons available:

 

EE

iD

O2

Tesco Mobile

Three (Essential and Advanced)

Vodafone

Ave. cost

Making calls to UK mobiles (per min)

£1.80

£3.60

£2.00

£1.49

£3.00

£0.55

£2.07

 

Receiving calls (per min)

£1.80

£1.50

£2.00

£1.49

£1.25

£0

£1.34

 

Sending 1 SMS text message

£0.60

£0.60

£0.50

£0.40

£0.50

£0.35

£0.49

 

Voicemail (per min)

£1.80

£3.60

£2.00

£1.49

£3.00

£0.35

£2.07

 

Data (per MB)

N/A – buy add on

£3.60

£7.20

£5.00

£6.00

£0.024*

£4.37

 

Roaming add ons for Russia

Zone A data add-on is now from £5 a day.

 Various data add-ons available from 50MB of data for 24 hours.

N/A

For an additional £120 a month, customers can get an extra 200MB worth of data

N/A

N/A

Vodafone’s Roam Further allows users to access their home plan of calls, texts and data for £6 a day. This add-on is not activated by receiving calls and texts.

If you go over your inclusive allowance, you will pay the same rates as you would in the UK. *The out of allowance cost for data is £6.50 for 250MB.

Vodafone Basic customers aren’t able to roam abroad.

 

Source: uSwitch.com
Prices in table correct for pay monthly customers travelling to Russia, checked on 09/05/18

Fore more information on using your phone abroad visit https://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/guides/mobile-roaming-charges/

Chris Price