Sending a simple text from your holiday in Europe may cost more than you expect after a recent change to the O2 Mobile Travel Bolt On.
The £1.99 daily charge for using the Travel service is now activated automatically if you send a text or make a call while holidaying in Europe. This was previously only activated if you used data to access online services or apps.
This recent change has caught many O2 customers unaware as the changes to the terms and conditions weren’t heavily communicated. Sending just one text would now cost you £1.99.
The O2 Travel bolt on is great if you want to use the internet while you’re away and don’t have access to free WiFi. The standard charge is usually 3.6p per MB, so £1.99 for unlimited use for the day for pay monthly users (or up to 100MB for PAYG users) offers great value for money.
However, if you only plan on making a couple of short calls or sending standard text messages (not MMS) while you’re away, call O2 before you travel to OPT OUT of O2 Mobile Travel. If you do opt out, you’ll pay just 1.2p per text and 3.6p per minute from Europe back to the UK.
The change was made in April 2016, just days before new EU regulation which capped the cost of making a call within Europe to 4.3p, the cost of sending a text to 1.6p and the cost of data usage to 4.3p per MB. It appears O2 Mobile would make less money from standard usage, so are now trying to prompt users into paying a fee of £1.99 per day.
It’s clearly a cheeky move from O2 Mobile and although its beneficial for heavy data users, many of us may be caught out if we don’t opt out.
Rival networks have scrapped roaming fees within Europe altogether, with the Three Mobile network being one of the first. Hopefully O2 Mobile will follow suit rather than aggravating existing customers with hidden price hikes.
How to opt out of O2 Travel
To opt out of O2 Travel, call 202 for free from your mobile if you’re on a pay monthly plan, or 0344 8090222 from your landline if you’re on Pay & Go.
After cancelling the service it can be restarted (so try and plan ahead if you do expect to be using a lot of day). You can also request that O2 Mobile send you a text detailing all charges applicable for using different services in the country you’ll be holidaying in.
Hopefully you then won’t come home to an unexpected phone bill and can query it if you do!