Tesco Mobile to charge customers for data roaming in Europe from next year
Tesco Mobile is to start charging new and recently joining pay-monthly customers to use their mobiles in Europe from next year. The change means you'll have to pay to use your mobile data in 48 European countries and destinations – but you'll still be able to use your included calls and texts at no extra cost.
The change will only affect those who joined or upgraded from 16 June 2022.
Mobile firms were banned from charging customers extra fees to use their UK allowance of minutes, texts and data (subject to a fair use cap) in Europe while the UK was still part of the EU. But now the post-Brexit transition is over, these rules no longer apply.
Many of the major networks have already reintroduced roaming charges, with the major exception being O2, which has said it won't reintroduce fees.
Tesco Mobile – which piggybacks on O2's network – was originally due to reintroduce roaming fees in January this year, before delaying the move to May. It has now pushed back the changes for a second time, until next year.
For full help on how to use your phone abroad for less, see our Cheap mobile and data roaming guide.
If you joined or upgraded with Tesco Mobile on or after 16 June 2022, you'll be charged for data roaming from next year
If you took out a pay-monthly contract on or after 16 June 2022, you'll be charged to use your data allowance in Europe from next year. Tesco hasn't yet confirmed what the charges will be or exactly when they'll come in – but we'll update this when we know more.
If you joined or upgraded before 16 June 2022, you won't be charged the new fees unless and until you choose to upgrade your plan.
Regardless of when you joined, you'll be able to keep using your included calls and texts for free.
Tesco Mobile customers on pay-as-you-go are not impacted by the reintroduction of roaming fees because they already pay by usage both in the UK and abroad.
Austria, Azores, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus (Republic of), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guyana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Republic of), Isle of Man, Jersey, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, St. Martin, St. Barts, Sweden, Switzerland, and Vatican City.
Affected customers can't cancel penalty-free as they were told about roaming fees on joining or upgrading
If you took out or upgraded your contract on or after 16 June 2022, the roaming charges will have been stipulated in your contract, so you won't be able to cancel penalty-free, according to Tesco Mobile.
If you joined or upgraded on or before 15 June 2022, you won't be affected, so in this case you might want to consider letting your existing deal roll over when it expires to keep the free roaming perk. But you should, of course, check you're on a cheap deal first and compare prices with other major providers factoring in their roaming costs if this is important to you. Use our Cheap Mobile Finder tool to compare deals.
Before switching be aware that many major mobile firms have already reintroduced European roaming charges:
- Vodafone reintroduced roaming charges on 31 January 2022.
- EE reintroduced roaming charges on 3 March 2022.
- Sky Mobile brought back roaming charges on 3 May 2022.
- Three brought back roaming charges from 23 May 2022.
- Voxi reintroduced roaming charges on 27 May 2022.
However, O2 has pledged to continue offering free mobile roaming in Europe – and many smaller providers also continue to offer free roaming. See our Cheap mobile and data roaming guide for full help on how to avoid or minimise roaming charges.