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Phone charges drop for holidaymakers

A consumer group has warned holidaymakers planning on visiting Europe that they need to contact their mobile phone operator before they depart if they wish to take advantage of cheap roaming charges.

Earlier this year, the EU forced mobile phone operators to drop the prices they charge customers for making and receiving calls while abroad.

The new rates are due to come into force from August 29th, but uSwitch has warned holidaymakers that they could need to contact their provider to benefit from the cheaper rates.

EU rules mean that some Brits could find making calls while on holiday becomes significantly cheaper as some tariffs are due to drop by 69 per cent.

"Consumers should be mindful that operators may not go the extra mile to advertise the new deals for the time being as they will be keen to reap the benefits of the existing roaming charges incurred by this summer's late holidaymakers," explained Steve Weller, head of communications services at uSwitch.com.

"Our advice to anyone going abroad with their mobile, whatever the network and wherever you are going, is to 'call before you fly'.

"Two final words of warning: people still need to exercise caution when using their mobile phone abroad as the new rules only cover telephone calls and exclude SMS, data and MMS services."

Mr Weller added that the lower costs only applied within the EU, so holidaymakers visiting more exotic locations could still be charged high fees for using their mobile.

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