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Vodafone UK in Welcome U-Turn Over Turkey Roaming Hike

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 (7:54 am) - Score 6,851

Mobile operator Vodafone UK has done a welcome U-turn over their planned price hike for roaming customers in Turkey, many of whom had been left stranded by the mass cancellation of flights and would soon have been hit by a new £6 per day charge (here). But that price change has now been delayed.

At present Turkey is still one of Vodafone’s free roaming destinations, which means customers can use their UK plan while abroad in associated countries at no extra cost. However the planned 6th May 2020 change meant that Turkey would have left this group to join c.60 other countries as “Roam-further” destinations (i.e. these attract the aforementioned daily fee, which is similar to how you’d be charged on other networks like O2).

When we first investigated this issue last week the operator seemed intent upon proceeding with their planned change, although we suspect that they may have had a rethink following the recent industry agreement to support and protect “vulnerable consumers” during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis (here).

Whatever the reason, customers in Turkey who contacted Vodafone about this issue have now been told the following (credits to David and others for keeping us informed).

Copy of Vodafone’s Message

“Appreciate current events could prevent you from returning to the UK as planned. Keeping you connected is our number one priority, so we’ll be giving you 30 days unlimited data at no extra cost. We’ll send you a text when your unlimited data is available.

We’re also delaying the change to the cost of roaming in Turkey until 07 July 2020 for all our customers currently in Turkey.”

The news will be most welcome to those still stranded in the country, whether due to a lack of flights, self-isolation or other reasons related to COVID-19.

Separately Vodafone has announced that it will be extending its 30-day free access to unlimited mobile data offer, by pro-actively upgrading customers who have personal Pay Monthly contracts and are registered in its systems as working for the NHS. These customers will receive a text informing them of this upgrade from April 6th.

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22 Responses
  1. Avatar Matthew

    In fairness surely as Vodafone actually own a network in Turkey this is just about trying to charge more for something that doesn’t cost them more ?

    • Avatar Spurple

      In capitalism, you’re generally free to charge what the market will bear. People vote with their feet if the pricing is wrong for them

    • Avatar M. FISHER

      I agree with you totally.
      They will lose a lot of customers in UK Telsim in Turkey is a part of Vodaphone and they ate mote expensive than other providers there.

    • Avatar Barry

      I’m inclined to agree Matthew.
      Only 5 months ago I migrated to VF purely because I normally spend 10-12 weeks pa in Turkey. I took an 18 month contract.
      Now VF have removed Turkey from free roaming AND upped the charge by 2.5%.
      I’m considering telling them I wish to migrate back to O2 in view of their unilateral actions.O2 charge only £4.99 pd for unlimited roaming in Turkey. Vf charge £5.99.

    • Avatar Patricia

      I was contacted by Vodafone as my contract is due to run out this week. I’ve been with Vodafone three are four years now because of the roaming free in Turkey where I have an apartment. I’m disgusted with the fact that to get the roaming free I’ve got to pay you at £37 a month. I’m not prepared to do this therefore I am voting with my feet and going elsewhere. This will mean some inconvenience and messing about buying a Turkish Sim however I feel very strongly and will stick to my guns.

  2. Avatar Joella

    Personally, I spend £120 per year minimum on a vodafone sim only bundle so I can use the vodafone network in Turkey, I travel there a lot but if they continue with their planned change for use outside EU, then I won’t bother with them. I’m sure a fair few people will be the same. Thanks for the head up Vodafone!

    • Avatar Mati h

      surely Vodafone will take a big hit on losing your £10/ month, so we all need to start shorting their stock

    • Avatar Ali Binar

      That’s not good news.i am with Vodafone becuase of i visit Turkey a lot.so I have to change my network,too.probably I will get Voxi becuase Turkey is roam free destination

  3. Avatar Kamb

    Someone please explain, if a customer breaks contract phone company charges and makes you bleed. But then they change the terms its not called breaking contract. I’ve made a contract under the terms offered but they changed it.

  4. Avatar Pete

    We have 3 Vodafone contracts in our household , the only reason we over pay for Vodafone contracts is so we can all use our mobiles while on holiday in turkey , due to this change we will move all our business to ee 02 or three and save quite a large amount of money , the money I save will purchase a turkey local sim and use that while I’m there. Am I able to cancel my 3 Vodafone contracts due to change of t and c’s as when I purchased my contracts I would not be charged £18 per day while on holiday, cost will be 6 pound a day for 21 days x 3 contracts so will be a extra £372 due to this change. I’ve just checked on uswitch and get 3x contracts same as we already have and save £360 a year , I will use this on a turkey local sim when I go on my 3 week holiday.

  5. Avatar Terry Chamberlain

    Vodafone bought Telsim which operates in Turkey and TRNC (North Cyprus)they also own the largest network in the south of Cyprus.
    Bearing this in mind this is just a way of generating more money and nothing else as as they own the networks they have no additional costs as other networks do so a rip off.
    They were going to do this last year and backed down but the timing with people stranded in Turkey and the North of Cyprus is a PR disaster. Bearing this in mind after the transition period with the EEC they will almost certainly do the same for EEC roaming I have 3 contracts with them my friends company who I recommend him to Vodafone has 24 so they are going to loose a lot of customers what with the billing fiasco as well and better priced deals out there if you exclude Turkey we should all leave

    • Avatar M. Fisher

      I pay £30 a month pay as you go to Vodaphone whether
      I am in UK or when on holiday in Turkey. I will not be using Vodaphone from May 2020.

      EE did the same several years ago and tried to charge their customers thousands of pounds on their return, changing their plans without notice and consent.
      Ofcom should revoke their licences to trade.

  6. Avatar Alasdair Adam


  7. Avatar Michael Bradburn

    It not a Uturn its don’t we look good helping people trapped.
    not we have a network in turkey that is Vodaphone let rip off all the holidaymakers.
    maybe when this virus is over the competition will look at the phone market and look at the mobile network and the price structure no real competition,
    but when politician leave don’t they become nonexecutive directors so not much chance of that then.
    virtually the same prices and the £6.00 per day rate the same do they phone each other up were putting our price up so should you?

    • Avatar Michael Bradburn

      prices EE £6.00
      O2 £4.99
      SKY £6.00
      BT Mobile £6.00

      all per day Three don’t do turkey only 2.5 million UK visitor per year

      where is the competition?

  8. Avatar Rich

    Please can anyone confirm that Vodafone have officially announced that they are U turning on roaming charges for Turkey?. Is there any link to Vodafone which states so?. Thanks.

  9. Avatar pete

    This is wrong Vodafone have not done a uturn regarding free roaming in turkey , they have just delayed it , I think when the holiday market returns and ppl find out turkey is no longer included in there free roaming tariff Vodafone will see a lot leaving.

  10. Avatar Al Green

    Update from Turkey, where I am currently stuck.
    During a 2 hour “Chat” on the Vodafone chat line was eventually connected to Belfast who eventually found this.

    “we’re moving Turkey from a Roam Free to a Roam Further destination for new and existing customers from Wednesday 6 May.
    Due to the Covid19 Crisis, we will be delaying this change for an initial 30 days for any Vodafone customer that is already in Turkey.
    Our number 1 priority is to keep our customers connected and the unprecedented travel restrictions have severely affected people’s ability to return to the UK. We’ve reached out to these customers directly letting them know of the change and have set up a dedicated team to handle their calls. We will review this just before the 30 day grace period comes to an end.”

    They certainly did not “reach out” to me or even their own employees. One of whom only the day before had insisted I had to upgrade to Unlimited Max.

  11. Avatar Patricia

    I was contacted by Vodafone as my contract is due to run out this week. I’ve been with Vodafone three are four years now because of the roaming free in Turkey where I have an apartment. I’m disgusted with the fact that to get the roaming free I’ve got to pay you at £37 a month. I’m not prepared to do this therefore I am voting with my feet and going elsewhere. This will mean some inconvenience and messing about buying a Turkish Sim however I feel very strongly and will stick to my guns.

  12. Avatar Lorraine Johnson

    I also complained to Vodafone about this hike and, after a customer services assistant rang me and just told me what I already knew and said I could cancel my contract free of charge, he closed my complaint even though I said I didn’t want it closing. I have received no answer as to why they are stopping roam free and the delay is just that. Not a change of mind just a delay to help people already in Turkey.

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