Whenever I travel outside of the UK, I don’t have a clue how much Orange charges me for calls or texts. Data is a complete mystery all together. After coming back from Japan I was hit with a £140 data charges bill which I am still trying to track down. So in the meanwhile I try to refrain from using data.
This is why I was delighted to be using a Vodafone SIM in France last weekend. The minute I landed, I received a text hat read:
Welcome to FRANCE. Calls cost 75p per call + your home rate (including bundles mins) to make and receive. SMS’s are 11p. Daily cost for data is up to £4.99inc VAT per 25MB allowance. We’ll text you before we charge you again.
Now this is what I called great user experience. It doesn’t matter if £4.99 a day for data is a lot or not (I don’t think it is). At least I know how much it’s going to be. Plus the fact that Vodafone will text me if I go over the 25MB allowance is just great.
I was also travelling with an O2 phone and I received a similar text that read:
Calls to UK/EU are 35ppm (18ppm to receive). Text is 11p. Data £3/MB.
Well, it’s great to receive the text from O2 (Orange did not even send that), but just look at the data charge of £3/MB. So if you are using 25MB you will be paying only £4.99 with Vodafone but whooping £75 with O2. For a 10 minutes call you will be paying 75p with Vodafone but £3.50 with O2. That’s 4 times more for you. I’m not sure how I would feel about O2’s “We’re better, connected” message when I get hit with a £75 bill, that’s for sure. I haven’t checked ‘3’ and will look into it in a couple of weeks when I am away again.
I am still waiting for regulators to clamp down on these ridiculously high tariffs that have nothing to do with reality. The EU has already done some steps with regards to voice and texts and I am waiting for their move on data charges. Till then we will continue to be hit with hundreds of pounds in roaming charges.