Are UK tech buyers being ripped-off?

In other words, if pricing was linked to exchange rates, we might get a completely dodgy deal in six months time - as opposed to the pretty dodgy deal we get now.

Buying abroad

You can, of course, buy from abroad. If you go on a visit to the US, you can buy devices sans-shipping costs, but don't forget that you may have to pay customs - as you do if you have something shipped. Equally, you may have difficulty finding an online retailer who will ship internationally - and who will accept your payment from the UK.

Be aware that you're on your own if the goods don't turn up, too - the Distance Selling Act only safeguards you within the EU .

There's also the risk that, should your parcel be intercepted - unlikely but possible - you may end up having to pay VAT on what you've bought anyway. Naturally other issues also abound, such as the lack of warranty and wrong electrical adapters.

But of course, it's not just hardware and software that are under the influence of higher prices in the UK. Wi-Fi access in hotels is something else which is far cheaper in other countries, unless you're staying in expensive accommodation.

Roaming charges

According to research by , internet access charges at many UK hotels are driving residents out to local bars and cafes. The survey found hotel guests pay on average £10 a day for broadband in their rooms.

"One of the biggest bugbears for business travellers is paying inflated charges to access emails or surf the Net whilst away from home but it's a service they really can't do without," said Tony Walsh of "Our research shows that Wi-Fi is one of the most important and most requested facilities in hotels for business travellers, ahead of leisure and even parking facilities."

"The UK hotel industry is missing a trick as fast internet access is becoming one of the key differentiators for hotels looking to attract valuable business guests," he added.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.