Mobile broadband - Unexpected charges
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It can be a huge shock – and often very costly - to find that you have incurred unexpected charges. Most companies now have a cap on data roaming whilst abroad and will text you to let you know, so that if you exceed a certain limit (usually €40), you will either be sent a text message or the service will be made unusable unless you reactivate your account. However, not all companies do this, so you may still be hit by extremely high roaming charges. If you think you have been wrongly charged, or that the roaming charges are unfairly high, you should firstly contact the customer services department via resolver, and explain your concerns. You should do this in writing, and set out the problem that has arisen and the remedy you seek (waiving of the roaming charges).
International roaming charges
If you are travelling in Europe prices for mobile calls and data are limited.
- Data: Capped at €0.20 (20p including VAT) per megabyte. This has fallen from €0.45/MB (46p including VAT).
- Monthly data cap: The maximum you can be charged in one month for using data in the EU before it's cut off remains at €50 (£49 including VAT) – the level it's been at since 2010.
- Outgoing calls: Capped at €0.19 (19p including VAT) per minute. This has fallen from €0.24/min (24p including VAT). Incoming calls: Capped at €0.05 (5p including VAT) per minute. This has fallen from €0.07/min (6p including VAT).
- Texts: Capped at €0.06 (6p including VAT) per text. This has fallen from €0.08/text (8p including VAT).
Mobile operators have good tariff plans if you pre-agree before travelling. If you are travelling outside of the European Union then charges can be considerably higher and it is important that you ensure you are on a cost efficient tariff.
You should know
- If you are unhappy with your service provider’s initial response, you should contact their customer services department via Resolver. Give clear details of your case such as what happened, when, and why you are complaining.
- The company should acknowledge your case with 14 days.
- If the company doesn't respond to your issue, then you should escalate your case to the next level. Resolver will remind you when the time comes!
- Your case is officially registered with the company as soon as the email is delivered and so you can escalate your case to an ombudsman after 8 weeks.
The Consumer Rights Act
Your rights mainly come from the Consumer Rights Act. The Consumer Rights Act sets out what you should expect from goods or services, giving you specific rights when things go wrong.
Taking things further
If the matter isn't resolved after eight weeks or if you receive a deadlock letter, you can send your case to the ombudsman. There are two ombudsmen in the telecoms market - CISAS or Ombudsman Services. Resolver knows which one to send your case to. We'll package up your communications and all supporting documentation and send it all to the relevant ombudsman.
The ombudsman will then undertake an independent investigation of your case for free. You can still take your telephone provider to court if you don't agree with the outcome, but only use this as a last resort. You should always seek legal advice before taking a matter to court.
If you need additional assistance
If you need additional advice and guidance on the issue you can contact your local Citizens Advice.
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