Tesco Mobile customers, be warned: EU roaming fees are coming back

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Tesco Mobile is the latest UK mobile operator to abolish inclusive roaming within the European Union (EU) and will start charging customers for calls, texts and data from next year.

Existing customers who entered into a contract before 16 June 2022 will still be entitled to free roaming until they upgrade, but everyone else will have to fork out more from 1 January 2023.

The operator had previously stated that it had no plans to reintroduce fees following the UK’s decision to leave the EU and hasn’t confirmed the news publicly. It has, however, changed, the terms and conditions of its contracts and communicated the new policy internally.

Tesco Mobile roaming

According to one report, staff said the change had not been “adequately” communicated given there had been no public announcement, and that the details of the internal announcement were “strictly confidential".

The conduct described would appear to be at odds with that of an operator famed for its customer service and satisfaction.

The changes have now appeared on the ‘Home from Home’ section of Tesco Mobile’s official website, which now describes the feature as lasting “for the rest of 2022”.

“From 2023 you won’t be able to use your monthly minutes, texts and data or UK bundles within the 48 Home From Home destinations and roaming charges will apply,” the company confirmed in an FAQ buried further down the page.

Tesco is not alone in going back on its word in this particular matter, however.

The existing EU legislation was introduced in 2017, but stopped applying to the UK following the country’s withdrawal from the EU in 2020. 

Nonetheless, EE, Three, and Vodafone repeatedly stated they had no intention of changing their EU roaming policies before and after the referendum, yet all have since done so. This leaves O2 as the only major operator that still includes EU roaming as standard.

Via i

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.