They received a high bill for mobile services after the holiday
According to a recently published representative survey, almost half of Slovaks plan to spend their summer vacation abroad. Telecommunication union of Slovak Republic recommends caution so that their memories of a pleasantly spent vacation are not spoiled by a high bill for the use of mobile services abroad. The experiences of some vacationers illustrate what could happen.
High fees at the borders of the EU and third countries
Mrs. Anna treated herself to a summer vacation by the sea after many years. She spent beautiful moments on one of the Greek islands, during which she also spent time by surfing on the internet. She knew that in EU member states, thanks to regulation, she could use mobile services at prices like at home. However, after returning from vacation, she was in a shock because she received a high bill for using data services abroad. The regulator's investigation concluded that after the welcome messages, her mobile operator sent her others, which she apparently did not pay enough attention to, which later turned out to be a big mistake. She would notice that, due to the proximity of the mainland, her mobile phone has connected to the operator's network of a country that is not a member of the EU, and the use of mobile services will be significantly more expensive for her.
In another similar case, a group of mountain tourists from Slovakia were surprised by a high phone bill after returning from vacation. This happened despite the fact that they were vacationing in the Austrian mountains. As it later turned out, they were moving near the border with Switzerland, turned off the sending of "annoying messages" from the operator and, as a result, did not notice that their mobile phones automatically connected to the operator's available network from Switzerland, where regulation does not apply.
The actors of these stories would avoid problems by following the messages from the operator and setting up their mobile.
Automatic updates can be expensive
A separate chapter is the use of mobile services outside the EU countries. Mr. Ivan, who spent an unforgettable vacation in Egypt, would be able to talk about it. It was also unforgettable because when he returned home, he received a bill of approx. 200 euros for the use of data services. Although, according to his statement, he did not connect to the internet during the vacation, the bill for data services was unexpectedly high. Mr. Ivan therefore contacted his mobile operator, where he discovered that his mobile phone had been automatically downloading updates while on holiday.
How to avoid a high bill for using mobile services abroad
Before going on vacation, the Telecommunication union of Slovak Republic recommends:
- When using mobile services abroad, do not take the word "unlimited" completely literally. Mobile operators may set fair use conditions aimed at preventing abuse or unusual use of roaming services. Check the conditions with your operator before going on holiday.
- To avoid unwanted data consumption, temporarily disable the phone from automatic software updates or set the phone to ask for your consent before updating. Updates are best done before vacation and then only after returning from vacation.
- Do not turn off the messages sent by the mobile operator when visiting abroad, but on the contrary, read them carefully.
- In the event that you move near the borders of the EU/EEA with other countries, set up the network manually in the visited country so that your mobile does not inadvertently connect to the network of an operator from a country where European regulation does not apply.