by billybob2 Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy

The Regulation on Roaming is clear:

 

The roaming data volume must be at least twice the volume obtained by dividing the price of your mobile bundle (excluding VAT) by the wholesale data roaming cap (€7.70 in 2017).

 

Europa.eu

 

(This is applicable as the cost per GB based on 100GB for £82.99 is less than 3.85 EUR.)

 

Based on this. The 100GB plan at 82.99 would be 20GB minimum. (GBP-EUR is 1.20 used, same as VAT, so 80GB is a reasonable figure).

 

The EE Fair Use Policy is 15GB. I believe this is illegal, as it is clearly in breach of the Regulations and the Calculation used to derive this figure. 

 

 

From the EE website, it seems they only apply this cap in the EU, you can use the full 100GB outside in the 4GEE Max countries. Even more odd.

 

No effort is made to make it clear to the consumer when purchasing, at any of the EE sales points or third parties that you can only use 15% of the data in this plan in the EU. If you roamed for 30 days (which seems entirely reasonable for a holiday why would you behave differently?) to use your full 100GB as you would "at home" would cost a further £663 based on EE stated £7.80 per GB bringing the monthly cost to £745.99.

 

You simply cannot use this plan like you would at home. You can use 15% of your data. If you want to use the full 100GB, thats £745.99 please.

 

21 REPLIES 21
by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy

Fallacy: A 100GB plan at £82.99 doesn't mean that you are paying £82.99 for 100GB data in UK. The plan also includes call mins & SMSs, often both unlimited. These cost money, so you are paying less than £82.99 per 100GB data.

 

For the sake of generality let's assume you're paying half of the monthly fee for calls & texts & half for data.

 

Therefore more realistically you are paying £41.50 for 100GB data. Therefore your Fair Use limit would be 41.5 / 3.85 = 10.8 GB.

 

(I've absorbed the £/€ conversion & VAT for simplicity sake!)

 

Not as clear as you like to make out!

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by billybob2 Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy

This is entirely wrong. That is your fallacy. You need to re-read the Europa.eu site once more. My calculations are entirely correct.

 

It is ALWAYS divided by €7.80 no matter if the calculation shows you pay less than €7.80 per GB in the case of Pay and Go or in the case of Pay Monthly less than €3.85 per GB.

 

If you have a pre-paid card (meaning that you pay in advance for using your mobile phone) you can roam like at home. However, your mobile operator may apply a roam like at home limit for data if you pay per unit and your domestic unit price for data is less than €7.70 per GB.

If your mobile operator applies a roam like at home volume limit for data, that limit should be at least the volume obtained by dividing the remaining credit on your pre-paid card by €7.70 as soon you start using data roaming services.

To calculate the FUP for data uses the same calculation as it does for unlimited data:

 

The limit is calculated on the basis of the retail price of your domestic mobile bundle as in the case of unlimited data (below)

The roaming data volume must be at least twice the volume obtained by dividing the price of your mobile bundle (excluding VAT) by the wholesale data roaming cap (€7.70 in 2017).

 

Not your erronous calculation because it NEVER takes into affect ANY value from the calls and data. That is just completely wrong. Nor is the calculation using €3.85, that number is only relevant because it allows operators to apply a FUP to roaming data for limited data plans only where the cost is below €3.85 (which again is only calculated from the value of the data) and you derived €3.85 because you erronously decided that the calls and texts are worth half when I have already shown that they don't feature in the calculation at all. 

 

The operator is only entitled to apply a roam like at home data limit in 2017 in case you pay less than €3.85/GB of data used (in 2018 less than €3/GB, in 2019 less than €2.25/GB). The actual limit depends on the monthly amount you pay for your mobile contract. The limit is calculated as in question 19.

 

Example 1: At home you have a mobile bundle including unlimited calls, SMS and 3 GB of data for €30 (€25 excluding 20% VAT). In this case, €25 / 3GB = €8.3/GB. When travelling in the EU, you get roam like at home with unlimited calls and SMS, and 3 GB of data, exactly like at home.

 

Example 2: At home you have a mobile bundle including unlimited calls, SMS and 10 GB of data for €30 (€25 excluding 20% VAT). The calculation is €25 / 10GB=€2.5/ GB. When travelling in the EU, you get RLAH with unlimited calls and SMS, and at least 6.5 GB of data (2*(25/7.7) =6.5). If the operator wishes to apply such a data limit while roaming, they must clearly inform you of the volume available and whenever you have consumed that volume while abroad.

Taken from Europa.EU FAQ point 20.

 

You cannot proportion a value to calls and texts because there is no FUP on texts and data. The FUP ONLY applies to data that is why all the calculations deal only for the purposes of data. The EU is not at all interested in calls and texts anymore; they are unlimited, end of story, and all matters now concern data. 

 

As per the (official) worked example on the Europa website: Remember this example is the same for limited data. Limited data plans are only shown separately because it is the fact that you pay less than €3.85 that gives the operator the right to limit the FUP as follows:

 

For example: you pay €40 (excluding VAT) for your mobile bundle with unlimited calls, SMS and data. When you roam like at home in the EU, you get unlimited calls and SMS and at least 10.3 GB of data (2x(€40/€7.70) =10.3).

 

My prior calculations therefore stand. Both limited and unlimited data plans use the same calculation to derive the FUP amount.

 

Based on this. The 100GB plan at 82.99 would be 20GB minimum. (GBP-EUR is 1.20 used, same as VAT, so 80EUR is a reasonable figure

I.e. 2x(€80/7.70)= 20.8 GB

 

In 2018 the wholesale data cap will be 6GB meaning this plan would then have 27.6GB of roaming data. 

 

This plan causes an issue for EE because the price is so high. EE's interpretation of the FUP is out of date for the times when they did not have such expensive plans.

 

EE's current FUP is illegal for this plan. Is is clear cut. EE are breaking the law. 

by billybob2 Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy

You cannot proportion a value to calls and texts because there is no FUP on texts and data. The FUP ONLY applies to data that is why all the calculations deal only for the purposes of data. The EU is not at all interested in calls and texts anymore; they are unlimited, end of story, and all matters now concern data. 

 

As per the (official) worked example on the Europa website: Remember this example is the same for limited data. Limited data plans are only shown separately because it is the fact that you pay less than €3.85 that gives the operator the right to limit the FUP as follows:

 

For example: you pay €40 (excluding VAT) for your mobile bundle with unlimited calls, SMS and data. When you roam like at home in the EU, you get unlimited calls and SMS and at least 10.3 GB of data (2x(€40/€7.70) =10.3).

 

My prior calculations therefore stand. Both limited and unlimited data plans use the same calculation to derive the FUP amount.

 

Based on this. The 100GB plan at 82.99 would be 20GB minimum. (GBP-EUR is 1.20 used, same as VAT, so 80EUR is a reasonable figure

I.e. 2x(€80/7.70)= 20.8 GB

 

In 2018 the wholesale data cap will be 6GB meaning this plan would then have 27.6GB of roaming data. 

 

This plan causes an issue for EE because the price is so high. EE's interpretation of the FUP is out of date for the times when they did not have such expensive plans.

 

EE's current FUP is illegal for this plan. Is is clear cut. EE are breaking the law. 

by billybob2 Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy

Vodafone has no FUP for EU roaming. Its the same as at home, it is genuinely “feel at home”, whatever you have in the UK, you have in the EU. Therefore they are not in breach.

 
Vodafone
 
Three give a maximum of 12GB 
 
 
Their most expensive plan is £114 per month with unlimited data. Without VAT and in EUR its approx €110 (though I suspect its generally used at 1.20) so is approx 28.6GB of usable data while abroad. Almost 3x lower than what it should be. 
 
It seems obvious that the huge cost of the iPhone X has not lead to any kind of adjustments for the carriers to the FUP for data and they have been caught off guard. 
 
I think a Regulator needs to look at this, or a consumer body who has the power to get in contact with the Executives at these firms and address this issue. Carriers must be reminded of their statutory obligations. 
Highlighted
by billybob2 Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy

The revelation is as follows:

 

If you pay more than approx £62 inc VAT per month, then probably the Fair Usage Policy discrimates against you and EE's clause is illegal.

 

The calculation is this: 

 

Based on 15GB FUP that's 2 x X =15x7.7 (where X is the amount in EUR) that's 57.75 EUR.  Put it into GBP and add VAT and that's approx £61.40 so let's say £62.00.

 

Now you can see, because the plans have got to be so expensive in the first place how this whole mess comes about and why the FUP is no longer current. 

 

Let's try an example:

 

iPhone 8 Plus is £72.99. We know the FUP is 15GB. Put that into EUR, less VAT its about €69. 2(69/7.7)=18GB.  But EE are only giving you 15GB. The EU figures were generally conceived around €1.2/£1 so its even higher and there's specific guidance for currency conversion. 

 

The iPhone X on 82.99 is an extreme example because no matter if it was 1:1 with the EUR, its still a rip off and you are not being given enough roaming data which should be around 20GB. Compare this to the immense £114 Three are charging for one of their iPhone X plans and the consumer is being well and truly shafted, especially as their FUP is only 12GB.

 

Remember, the calls and texts do not come into the calculation at all. Ignore them completely. It's entirely intended that the consumer is getting more data than the operator would be paying another operator for if it costs €7.70 per GB. As the EU puts it: 

 

This means that you may get more roam like at home data than the volume your operator can purchase with your monthly subscription from the foreign operator whose network you are using abroad.

 

The data allowance you get in the UK is only relevant as far as you calculate you are paying less than 3.85 EUR per GB (exc VAT) I believe all EE's plans have data for cheaper than this, which gives them the right to put an EU FUP in place in the first place so its altogether irrelevant for you. If someone paid more than 3.85 EUR per GB (exc VAT) then EE would have no legal basis to put a FUP in place in the EU. To clarify, of course this means that you could have less than 15GB, its a maximum not a minimum if you're unlucky enough to pay £50 for 5GB then it makes no odds your limit is 5GB. 

 

Right now, EE will charge you £7.80 per GB to use your legally entitled data above 15GB when roaming, a charge that should not be levied until 20GB is used on the iPhone X plan. EE want to make money from this otherwise they wouldn't have a FUP policy at all so they can charge you £7.80 GB which is far more expensive than the per GB price in the UK. EE have chosen the worst approach for the consumer. The EU does not force them to have a FUP. Vodafone don't have a FUP for roaming at all. 

 

When 2018, the maximum wholesale cost goes down to 6 EUR which means the FUP is even worse!

by Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy

Remember you are not on a 100GB plan.

 

You are on a 25GB plan with a 75GB add on.


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by billybob2 Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy


@BrendonH wrote:

Remember you are not on a 100GB plan.

 

You are on a 25GB plan with a 75GB add on.


That's irrelevant. It's has absolutely nothing to do with how high the FUP should be. What matters is the cost of the plan and the current wholesale data price which is €7.70. Nothing else matters. See the calculations above. 

 

Please read my post(s).

by Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy

You are working in €. EE being in UK work in £

 

You may have your own calculations here but I am sure a company the size of EE is not breaking any laws.

 

What does it matter anyway. By the end of Brexit well be losing this EU data regulations anyway thanks to people who decided to mess out country up.


BrendonH (Android Expert) Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Android 10 Beta)
If I have helped please click the THUMB/SOLUTION buttons below
by billybob2 Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy


@BrendonH wrote:

You are working in €. EE being in UK work in £

I must say, I had no idea the UK use £... it must be why I have differentiated the currencies? Even if there was parity, this would still be illegal.  

You may have your own calculations here but I am sure a company the size of EE is not breaking any laws.

Ah yes, because EE is big, they don't break any laws, so lets scrap the Court System and stop anyone from suing big firms because those cases will have no merit :D. I have continued to highlight the issue arising from the very expensive contracts which gives EE the benefit of the doubt because the cap is quite old. 

 

And while we are at it, tell the Commission to stop inteferring in those flawless big firms but then you said...:

 

What does it matter anyway. By the end of Brexit well be losing this EU data regulations anyway thanks to people who decided to mess out country up.


Which suggests you like big firms being Regulated and made to adhere to the law? I care. It's at least 2 years of the contract remaining, UK in EU or not. And since when is the USA in the EU...or Mexico...or Australia? Let market forces do their work. And I think your political views are best vented over on the Grauniad :). 

by billybob2 Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy

May I kindly ask that one of the employees here could bring this to the attention of someone who could take a look at it?

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy

Hi @billybob2,

 

All EE plans are compliant with the recent changes to EU roaming regulations.

 

You can find out more about the fair usage policy here.

 

Thanks

 

James

by billybob2 Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy


@James_B wrote:

Hi @billybob2,

 

All EE plans are compliant with the recent changes to EU roaming regulations.

 

You can find out more about the fair usage policy here.

 

Thanks

 

James


I wouldn't so sure about that, unless you have just written this, do you even accept that the FUP is adjusted in line with the wholesale market price? So what will the FUP be in 2018? It simply cannot be the same.

 

I had a call today from a Which? researcher who was really curious about this from the email I sent. I didn't expect them to get in contact with me.

 

Its really hard to get these things looked at by the Regulator, because we don't have one :D. Ofcom don't take consumer complaints. 

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy

You can always try ASA if you feel you have a case.

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by billybob2 Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy


@XRaySpeX wrote:

You can always try ASA if you feel you have a case.


That's good advice to anyone. I already raised a case with them regarding the advertising of the plan. The ASA requires very significant contract clauses to be clearly stated in the ad. When they talk of "Use your calls, texts and data in the EU..." they don't make it clear you can only use 15% of your data there without charge. This is an immensely significant contract term that I feel would affect the purcase decisons of the consumer. Further down the page it says "Use your minutes, texts and data across the EU at no extra cost".

 

At least, the suggestion is that 15GB is some kind of limit, if you regularly break it, you can be subject to sanction or roam too much the operator can charge €7,70 per GB, just so happens EE's charge is £7.80 inc VAT. 

 

If you pay for 100GB per month, you expect to be able to roam just like you use your phone back in the UK if your contract was sold on "Use your minutes, texts and data across the EU at no extra cost". If you're lying on the beach and watching your favourite TV shows, you might be surprised to see you're being sanctioned after 15% of your data plan. To use your 100GB adds up to about £745 per month based on £7.80 which is in the price plan document. 

 

 

The FUP is not an element of law which is obvious and doesn't have to be stated. EE has taken the most restrictive interpretation of the Roaming Regulations, which is to have a FUP. It's not a requirement of the law. Obviously the Commission would prefer it wasn't there at all. (Some may recall the Commission didn't want to have any restrictions on roaming, whereas the networks lobbied to protect their revenue from stopping people from taking plans in cheap countries like Poland and living permanently in the more wealthy Member States using benefits that cost a fraction of the domestic prices for phone plans.)

 

 

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy


billybob2 wrote:

The ASA requires very significant contract clauses to be clearly stated in the ad.


Not specifically. All you need is to point to public facing webpages that make claims that can't be substantiated. I did 1 for unlocking statements on EE website that did not explicitly appear in any contract & ASA got EE to change or remove the offending statements.

 

Thanks but please make your case to the ASA, not to me as I don't support it.

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by billybob2 Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy


 

Thanks but please make your case to the ASA, not to me as I don't support it.


Perhaps you should write to counter my complaint? 

by Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy


@billybob2 wrote:

 

Thanks but please make your case to the ASA, not to me as I don't support it.


Perhaps you should write to counter my complaint? 


Why do we need to?

 

Maybe you should go down the correct channels rather than a customer forum?


BrendonH (Android Expert) Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Android 10 Beta)
If I have helped please click the THUMB/SOLUTION buttons below
by billybob2 Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy


@BrendonH wrote:

@billybob2 wrote:

 

Thanks but please make your case to the ASA, not to me as I don't support it.


Perhaps you should write to counter my complaint? 


Why do we need to?

 

Maybe you should go down the correct channels rather than a customer forum?


Because he/she said he/she didn't support it. 

 

I would have thought a public forum is the perfect place to air concerns.

 

The ASA complaint is entirely different to the issue of FUP roaming. 

by billybob2 Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Re: Illegal EE EU Roaming Fair Use Policy

The ASA agreed with me and they have informed EE that the ads must not appear in their current form. Specifically, failing to make clear the FUP on data roaming prevents "at home" style roaming. 

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