Clearing Up Confusion Over Vodafone UK’s New Roaming Charge

Some of Vodafone’s UK customers have questioned the mobile network operator’s claim that their inclusive roaming feature comes at “no extra cost”, particularly after a stealthy 22p call connection fee was introduced. But you’d have to dig deeper into their website to find it and the charge doesn’t apply to everybody.

A number of Vodafone’s mobile plans currently come with roaming equipped – usually “Xtra: Inclusive roaming in 83 worldwide destinations” or “Inclusive roaming in 51 European destinations“. Both of which are promoted as allowing customers in related countries to “use your UK allowance of data, minutes and texts at no extra cost“.

NOTE: Vodafone’s Zone A + B reflects roaming across 51 European countries.

However, following recent holiday periods (e.g. Easter and Spring Half Term), we’ve had a small number of conflicting complaints from Vodafone customers about their call charges. A couple of which complained that they’d been hit with an unexpected call connection charge (22p) while abroad in one of the supported countries (e.g. when calling a local French number from inside France).

The good news is that this charge appears to have been levelled in error and has since been corrected for one of those affected (example). The operator confirmed that the aforementioned plans do, in fact, allow customers to “call and text back to the UK and within the country you’re roaming in at no extra cost.”

On the other hand, Vodafone does state that a new 22p charge was still introduced during February 2024, albeit only for when making calls from one EU country to another when roaming (this should only impact new customers after that date).

A Vodafone spokesperson told ISPreview:

“If you’re a Vodafone customer on a plan that includes 51 European destinations or 83 worldwide destinations, and you’re roaming in one of these destinations, your plan allows you to:

– Call and text back the UK and within the country you’re roaming in at no extra cost
– Use the data in your plan – up to our fair use policy limit of 25GB
– Receive calls and texts at no extra cost

These are genuine ‘roam like at home plans’ so, mimic the behaviour of being in the UK, which means calls to countries other than the UK or the one you’re roaming in are charged at international rates. If you have one of our International calls Extras, these also work when roaming in one of these destinations, just as they do when you’re in the UK.

We introduced a change in February of this year to charge for calls from one EU country to another when roaming. This only impacts new customers, so customers on plans before this date are unaffected by this change.”

At the time of writing, the “new” calling charge doesn’t get mentioned if you follow the “See plan details ->” link on their mobile plan summaries, which will in turn only take you through to their Global Roaming page that also makes no mention of the 22p “international” call connection charge. But it does show up if you dig deeper into their site and find the Travelling Abroad page, which highlights it for international calls to Zones A and B (Europe).

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