Half of Brits not prepared for roaming charges, claims survey

Mobile phones, Smartphones

Despite the summer holidays being in full swing, the UK’s cost-of-living crisis has led to Brits cutting back on holidays in a bid to save money.

According to new research by iD Mobile, the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) from Currys, a third (30%) of adults aren’t planning a trip abroad this year, with nearly half (45%) cutting back their spending due to the cost-of-living crisis.

For the 60% of Brits going abroad this year, 90% of them will be packing their mobile phone – which is now seen as one of the most essential items for Brits to pack when travelling.

However, despite the necessity of having their mobile phone, only half of Brits (49%) are prepared for using their phone abroad freely, with the other half (51%) not having either a roaming option or bundle included in their mobile phone plan whilst away.

Surprisingly, 71% of people say they wouldn’t even expect to pay for roaming charges when on holiday. That’s despite a quarter (27%) of adults saying they have been hit by unexpected roaming charges on their phone bill when they have returned from their holiday, averaging a whopping £262. With the likes of Three, Vodafone, EE and Sky now charging for roaming, it is no surprise customers are being caught out.

It’s also easy to see why Brits are experiencing roaming-related “bill shocks”, with adults under the age of 44 spending an average of 8 hours a day on their phone whilst on holiday; taking photos and videos (49%), contacting people at home (40%), researching nearby activities and attractions (36%), using maps and navigation (36%) and finding good restaurants or bars (35%). Despite the potential costs when roaming without an inclusive roaming option or bundle, only a fifth (21%) of Brits say they consider roaming charges when looking for a new mobile contract.

For those who don’t have an inclusive roaming option or bundle, being unable to use their phone freely whilst on holiday abroad leaves Brits feeling frustrated (38%), lost (17%) and even scared (36%), as well as annoyed that they can’t share photos with friends and family (26%).

Says Lewis Henry, Head of Customer and Marketing at iD Mobile:

“We know that it’s an expensive time of year, with holidays booked and the kids off school. Together with the fact that bills are set to increase again this Autumn, it’s set to be a tricky time ahead financially for so many.

 “At iD Mobile we are committed to providing the best value for our customers. With so many of our competitors now charging for roaming, we’ve decided to continue providing our inclusive Roaming benefit for all new and existing customers to help ease the burden a little in these challenging times.”


Chris Price
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