We’ve all heard the horror stories about people travelling abroad and returning home to a ridiculous, and unexpectedly high phone bill, sometime totalling into the thousands! While international roaming charges still tend to be rather high, we are likely to hear more stories like these in the future. Although most of us have become more-savvy when travelling abroad, there are still cases in recent years where international phone bills have been at bankrupting proportions. The highest ever reported roaming charge was $570,000, racked up by an unwitting Australian holidaying in the EU. Having reported their phone stolen, the time difference meant that it was recorded as the next day and within the lag time the thief managed to have a field day with their phone. While these charges were eventually waived, it clearly illustrates how much it can cost to use your cellphone abroad, even just for 24 hours!
Most of us would not be as eager as a thief to make calls and use data abroad, but there have also been cases where people have been caught short by their own forgetfulness. Take the American father who had the foresight to turn his roaming off while holidaying in Mexico, but left his phone with his 11 year old son, who then decided to turn the roaming back on to stream videos and play games for 12 hours for a total bill of $22,000!
Why do we even need roaming charges you may ask; when travelling abroad, you are still able to use your phone because cell networks work together, often partnering up to ensure you’re still connected when away from home. Because of this ‘partnership’ between the networks, you are still billed by your regular network provider, but at a higher rate because of their ‘partner’ network overseas. This means that you can stay in contact with your loved ones, but you need to be highly cautious about how you use your cell as you can be billed beyond even your wildest expectations, such as for receiving voicemails, and you can be billed once again for simply listening back to the message. Crazy!
This outlook isn’t the same everywhere, and for EU customers travelling within the EU for example, there is a cap on roaming charges to prevent these distressing situations, but when travelling outside of the EU zone you still have to be vigilant. For instance, a UK citizen can roam safely in France and Italy and throughout the rest of Europe, but if they travel further afield, say to Nigeria, with the same phone the charges can skyrocket almost immediately. So be careful uploading a snap shot of yourself enjoying a cocktail on a beach in Jamaica, as your trip may look great, but the bill will not be the envy of your friends!
On the up side, there are ways to keep your bill low no matter where you are travelling to; turn off your roaming and try sticking to WiFi, and stay in contact with your family and friends on a messenger app which uses Wi-Fi, like Whatsapp, or Telegram. Alternatively, you can always buy a local SIM card (bear in mind this brings with it a new ‘local’ number and your phone will need to be unlocked and ‘world-compatible’ so check with your network provider before you jet off!). Also, don’t forget to turn off your push notifications! They’ll spring up on you and keep raising your charges! There is some good news though; with your cheap Lycamobile bundle plan you won’t be charged for roaming in over 18 countries leaving you free to explore our incredible planet with one less thing to worry about.
So get out there and enjoy the world with Lycamobile, helping you to stay connected to the ones you love no matter where you are.