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Clearing Up Confusion Over Vodafone UK’s New Roaming Charge

Friday, Jun 21st, 2024 (4:20 pm) - Score 9,320
vodafone uk sim holder

Some of Vodafone’s UK customers have questioned the mobile network operator’s claim that their inclusive roaming feature comes at “no extra cost”, particularly after a stealthy 22p call fee was introduced. But you’d have to dig deeper into their website to find it and the charge doesn’t apply to everybody.

A number of Vodafone’s mobile plans currently come with roaming equipped – usually “Xtra: Inclusive roaming in 83 worldwide destinations” or “Inclusive roaming in 51 European destinations“. Both of which are promoted as allowing customers in related countries to “use your UK allowance of data, minutes and texts at no extra cost“.

NOTE: Vodafone’s Zone A + B reflects roaming across 51 European countries.

However, following recent holiday periods (e.g. Easter and Spring Half Term), we’ve had a small number of conflicting complaints from Vodafone customers about their call charges. A couple of which complained that they’d been hit with an unexpected call charge (22p) while abroad in one of the supported countries (e.g. when calling a local French number from inside France).

The good news is that this charge appears to have been levelled in error and has since been corrected for one of those affected (example). The operator confirmed that the aforementioned plans do, in fact, allow customers to “call and text back to the UK and within the country you’re roaming in at no extra cost.”

On the other hand, Vodafone does state that a new 22p charge was still introduced during February 2024, albeit only for when making calls from one EU country to another when roaming (this should only impact new customers after that date).

A Vodafone spokesperson told ISPreview:

“If you’re a Vodafone customer on a plan that includes 51 European destinations or 83 worldwide destinations, and you’re roaming in one of these destinations, your plan allows you to:

– Call and text back the UK and within the country you’re roaming in at no extra cost
– Use the data in your plan – up to our fair use policy limit of 25GB
– Receive calls and texts at no extra cost

These are genuine ‘roam like at home plans’ so, mimic the behaviour of being in the UK, which means calls to countries other than the UK or the one you’re roaming in are charged at international rates. If you have one of our International calls Extras, these also work when roaming in one of these destinations, just as they do when you’re in the UK.

We introduced a change in February of this year to charge for calls from one EU country to another when roaming. This only impacts new customers, so customers on plans before this date are unaffected by this change.”

At the time of writing, the “new” calling charge doesn’t get mentioned if you follow the “See plan details ->” link on their mobile plan summaries, which will in turn only take you through to their Global Roaming page that also makes no mention of the 22p “international” call charge. But it does show up if you dig deeper into their site and find the Travelling Abroad page, which highlights it for international calls to Zones A and B (Europe).

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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11 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Roaming says:

    “These are genuine ‘roam like at home plans’ so, mimic the behaviour of being in the UK, which means calls to countries other than the UK or the one you’re roaming in are charged at international rates.” Well, no. In O2 you can call country other than you are roaming and this works in the same way in european mobile networks.

    1. Avatar photo Coffeemadman says:

      And that is how EU “roaming like home” has always worked, although it admittedly struck me as somewhat generous.

      Downright duplicitous for Vodafone to hide this behind tens of pages of small print. But I’d expect nothing less.

    2. Avatar photo Bubbles says:

      Same on all Three networks & EE. If you’re in the EU, you can call the EU.

  2. Avatar photo dave says:

    I don’t think it’s a call connection charge but a per minute charge. Nowhere does Vodafone state it’s a call connection charge.

  3. Avatar photo Anon says:

    This is just a dumb article. If you call a french number while you are in France you always pay. This never changed and all operators do this. O2 just has such an outdated infrastructure they cant charge for roaming… Still if you call a french number with o2 you also pay.

    1. Avatar photo T says:

      O2 used to charge for eu roaming in the 2000s and indeed always have charged outside of that area so that’s clearly rubbish

  4. Avatar photo Jason says:

    First mistake: Get anywhere near Vodafone. Their customer service is basically non existent.

  5. Avatar photo Lee says:

    Has anyone else been having issues since the 3G switch off? Constantly falls back to GPRS and Edge, and when on either even phone calls don’t work

    1. Avatar photo Nick says:

      Yes. To the point, i got tired and moved my number to another mobile provider

    2. Avatar photo Lee says:

      I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place, I’m on Talkmobile which runs on VF, and I really need the EU roaming. The only main network that provides it are o2, and they are worse then VF.

      Have been looking at Co-op mobile, EE mnvo, and has EU roaming, anyone had any experience?

  6. Avatar photo Nick Roberts says:

    All becomes clear when you read the RIP-OFF clauses in the contract (Receipt of Indeterminate Payment over firey furnace)

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