Since 15 May 2019, price caps should be applied to calls and texts made by UK consumers to any landline or mobile number of another EU member state.
These caps are:
The price caps apply to calls and texts to any landline or mobile number of another EU member state.
The EU member states are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
The EU price caps will also apply to the EEA countries, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, once the relevant legislation has been passed.
If you call someone travelling in one of the countries listed above but their number does not belong to one of those countries (for example if they are visiting France but have a Canadian number), the price caps will not apply.
These price caps should be applied automatically to fixed and mobile services charged wholly or partly based on actual consumption unless you:
If you were on a non-default tariff for international calls prior to 15 May 2019, your phone company should have made you aware of the new price caps that would begin to apply to their default tariff from that date. Unless you have specifically asked to keep your existing tariff, your phone company must automatically switch you onto their default tariff from 15 July 2019.
Yes, phone companies are allowed to offer alternative tariffs where prices are higher than the caps, but customers must explicitly ask to switch to that tariff before it is applied. For example, a customer may choose to switch to a tariff where the cost of calling certain countries covered by the rules (e.g. France) is higher than the default cap, but the cost of calling other ‘rest of world’ countries (e.g. Canada) is cheaper.
Before a customer chooses an alternative tariff, their phone company must tell them about the benefits they could miss out on if they switch.
Yes. Phone companies are not allowed to charge above the caps but can charge less. Consumers looking for cheaper costs may benefit from:
No. The rules only apply to non-business customers.
The price caps do not apply to the whole cost of a premium rate call but do apply to your phone company’s charge for accessing the service (the access charge). The rest of the charge (the service charge) is not capped under these rules.
No. When you use your phone in another country you are ‘roaming’ and these price caps do not apply. However, there are separate rules on what your phone company can charge when you are roaming in the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. Details of these rules can be found in our ‘Using your mobile abroad’ guide.
Current rules generally mean that the cost of calls and texts from a UK number to a number in an EU member state are capped.
Under the terms of the UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement, these rules will continue to apply during the transition period, which is expected to last from 1 February 2020 until 31 December 2020.
After this, customers could see changes to how calls and texts from the UK to the EU are charged. This will depend on the outcome of the UK/EU future economic relationship that the UK Government agrees with the EU.