Mobile phone regulator Ofcom has published new advice to help consumers in Northern Ireland reduce or avoid expensive roaming charges caused by their phones accidentally connecting to Republic of Ireland networks.
The charges are incurred when the signal from a domestic UK network is weak or unavailable and a phone picks up a stronger signal from a mast in the ROI.
In such cases users can be charged more expensive international roaming rates, estimated by Ofcom to be as much as £300 per year for customers in border areas.
The advice can be found on Ofcom’s consumer website and sets out mobile providers’ tariffs, advice and other options available to help customers reduce or avoid expensive inadvertent roaming charges.
Some networks offer special tariffs and apps that can help reduce inadvertent roaming costs.
“It is important that consumers have information that enables them to make informed decisions. Where inadvertent roaming charges are an issue for them, this includes information about the options available to protect themselves against those charges,” said Ofcom’s Chairman Colette Bowe.
“Ofcom welcomes the steps operators have taken. There are a number of options available to consumers, including special tariffs. We encourage consumers who frequently incur, or are at risk of, inadvertent roaming charges to consider what is the best option. We have published information and advice to help them.”