by haroon1984 Contributor
Contributor

Moving to EU country while working in UK?

Hello,

 

In January 2019 I will be moving to an EU country. However I will be keeping my job in the UK and continuing to travel to the UK each week.

 

Typically, I expect that each week I will spend 3 days in the UK and 4 days in the EU country that I'm moving to. Nearly every week, I will spend some time in the UK. 

 

Question: Will EE allow me to use my phone in the EU country given that I may be spending more than half of my time there on average? Every week I will be spending some time in the UK, but on balance I will be spending more time in the EU country. Does this fall foul of EE's roaming fair use policy? What consequences will there be for me?

 

I won't be spending months at a time in the EU country - every week I will be travelling back to the UK. As far as I can tell there is no clear guidance on this.

 

I currently have a Max Plan that gives me EU roaming. This plan comes to an end in December and I need to decide whether to upgrade or cancel my contract. If EE's policies do not permit the above usage, then I will have to cancel my contract.

17 REPLIES 17
by scottio200 Investigator
Investigator

Re: Moving to EU country while working in UK?

I do this and have had no issues for over a year and a half with my max plan.

 

 

by haroon1984 Contributor
Contributor

Re: Moving to EU country while working in UK?

Thanks @scottio200.

 

Can I just check - do you spend more time abroad (in a typical week) than in the UK?

 

My concern is that the majority of my time (4 days per week) will be spent in the EU country. I would like someone from EE to confirm that this wouldn't violate EE's terms and conditions for roaming. 

by scottio200 Investigator
Investigator

Re: Moving to EU country while working in UK?

Yeah all the time, im actually based in Amsterdam and spend each week travelling around the world with my job. Sometimes i go 6-8 weeks witout coming back to the UK and I have had no issues.

by Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

Re: Moving to EU country while working in UK?

You need a stable link to the EE network.

 

As you are coming back to UK every week your stable link will start again from day 1.

 

I think after 6 months of not connecting to the EE network class as a unstable link 


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by Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

Re: Moving to EU country while working in UK?

Personally, I think you will be fine @haroon1984Smiley Happy

 

On the EU's press release, they talk about stable links here, it states the following:

 

"3. The end of roaming charges for all Europeans travelling in the EU

 

How will the end of roaming charges work?

 

Mobile operators have to offer their roaming services at domestic prices to consumers who either normally reside in or have stable links to the Member State of the operator, while those customers are periodically travelling in the EU. If necessary, operators can ask their customers to provide proof of residence or of such stable links to the Member State in question. Roaming providers may apply fair, reasonable and proportionate control mechanisms based on objective indicators to detect the risks of abusive or anomalous use of roam like at home beyond periodic travelling.

 

Who will be covered?

 

The draft rules will enable all European travellers using a SIM card, that allows roaming from a Member State in which they reside or with which they have 'stable links' to, use their mobile device in any other EU country, just as they would at home.

 

Examples of 'stable links' include cross-border commuters and posted workers, Erasmus+ programme beneficiaries such as students, apprentices or volunteers.

 

Europeans will pay domestic prices when they call, text or go online from their mobile devices and will have full access to other parts of their mobile subscription (e.g. monthly data package).

 

Do I need to register to Roam Like at Home?

 

No formal registration is required to benefit from the roam like at home mechanism. From 15 June 2017, it should be included by default in all customers' mobile contracts on which operators offer roaming. Operators may ask consumers to provide proof that their home (residence) is in the Member State of the mobile operator (in case they do not already dispose of such information for billing purposes).

 

The consumer may also prove stable links entailing frequent and substantial presence on the territory of the Member State of the mobile operator, like an employment relationship or following recurring courses at University.

 

How will personal data be protected?

 

The roaming fair use rules explicitly require the roaming providers to comply with the relevant data protection rules. The Commission has consulted the European Data Protection Supervisor and has taken his comments into account. Operators can only use the information they already gather for billing purposes to check to what extent customers are using mobile and data services abroad compared to their consumption at home.

 

Will Europeans still be able to buy different SIM cards in different Member States?

 

Yes. EU citizens can continue to buy any other SIM card in any EU Member State and surf and call at local tariffs or roam with that card. However they might not be able to benefit from roam like at home if they are not resident in the country where they bought the card or if they do not have stable links entailing frequent and substantial presence in this country."

 

You could easily argue that you have stable links to the UK as you reside within the UK for at least three days a week and you also work within the UK, which is a stable link to the member state that provides your mobile services.

 

On the EU's Digital Single Market Frequently Asked Questions about roaming here, it also states the following:

 

"23. I work in another European country than the one where I reside; will I be able to roam like at home without any risks of exceeding my limits?

 

Yes. In your case, you can choose a provider in either country and roam at the domestic price of that country: you can roam at domestic price with a SIM from the country where you reside or with a SIM from the country where you work. In both cases the roam like at home fair use policy will apply (as described in question 17), subject to the important additional point that any day when you log on at least once on the network of your domestic operator counts as a day of presence (even if you also go abroad that day)."

 

I personally believe from both points, you can successfully argue you have stable links to the UK and you should have no problems. Smiley Happy

by haroon1984 Contributor
Contributor

Re: Moving to EU country while working in UK?

Thanks @scottio200, that's really useful and interesting. I'm glad that you haven't had any despite spending less time in the UK than I'll be. Thanks also to @BrendonH and @Inyourbox for interesting info.


Would still be interested in a response from an EE representative, just to put my mind at ease.

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: Moving to EU country while working in UK?

Hi @haroon1984.

 

We would consider you to have a stable link with the UK if during any four month period, you:

  • spend a total of two months or more within the UK, or
  • mainly use your voice, text or data usage allowances within the UK.

By the sound of your circumstances you will be spending around half of your time in the UK.

 

It sounds like you're going to be doing loads of travelling! 🙂

 

Jon

 

 

by haroon1984 Contributor
Contributor

Re: Moving to EU country while working in UK?

Hi @Jon_K, thanks for your response but it raises more questions than it answers.

 

When you say 2 months out of 4, does that mean 2 consecutive unbroken months? I won't be spending 2 consecutive months in the EU country, but I won't be spending 2 consecutive months in the UK either.

 

Or does it mean 60 days (however distributed) within any 120 day period? As I will be 3 days a week in the UK and 4 days per week in the EU country, then over the course of 120 days I'll spend around 50 days (on average) within the UK and 70 days (on average) within the EU country. So where does that leave me?

 

And when you say "mainly", what does that mean? 60%? 70%? 80%? Every week I will be using some allowance in the UK, but the vast majority of my usage will definitely be within the EU country. Not least because when I'm in the UK I'm usually connected to Wifi of some sort!

 

Can you see why I'm confused? I'm being told that I meet the criteria for a stable link, but actually, strictly speaking, it looks like I wouldn't...

 

 

by Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

Re: Moving to EU country while working in UK?

When you return to the UK @haroon1984, where do you stay? In a hotel, at a friends, at your parents or do you have your own house or premises within the UK?

 

Do you have an active UK bank account within the UK, that you use to make purchases while you are within the UK?

by haroon1984 Contributor
Contributor

Re: Moving to EU country while working in UK?

Hi @Inyourbox, I will be staying at my registered UK home address. I am keeping that along with my UK bank account.

 

@Jon_K - from EE's perspective, is this information releveant?

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: Moving to EU country while working in UK?

Hi @haroon1984.

 

I can see why you'd be confused yes 🙂

 

It doesn't mean consecutive months, it's just in total.

 

It won't matter where you're staying as long as you're connecting to the EE network.

 

If we reasonably believe there is a breach of this stable links policy, we will monitor this based on the combination of your presence in the UK and usage in the EU/EEA/Switzerland for four months. If, during this four month period, we believe or know that you may have breached the conditions set out above, we will notify you of the breaches.

 

Jon

by haroon1984 Contributor
Contributor

Re: Moving to EU country while working in UK?

Thanks @Jon_K I'm still trying to eke a definitive answer out of you...

 

Based on what you know about my circumstances, would EE choose to investigate for 4 months?


Because if EE did investigate, it would find that I'm spending roughly 50 days in the UK and roughly 70 days in the EU. And that most of my allowance usage has been in the EU.

 

In which case I have breached the conditions, right?

 

I'll be living in this EU country for the next two years, i.e. the entire length of my next EE contract (if I choose to stay with EE). So I won't be able to change my usage patterns if EE ends up warning me about it.

 

But maybe I shouldn't stay with EE if it's clear that I'm going to be breaching their T&Cs and potentially having my allowance cut...

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: Moving to EU country while working in UK?

Hi @haroon1984

 

I see @Jon_K has given you the information about our stable links policy.

 

It's possible that your usage would trigger an investigation. If this happens, the case will be handled on an individual basis by the team handling the investigation.

 

If you receive any correspondence about this in future, I recommend getting in touch to discuss it further and what the actions will be going forward.

 

Chris

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Moving to EU country while working in UK?


@haroon1984 wrote:

Because if EE did investigate, it would find that I'm spending roughly 50 days in the UK and roughly 70 days in the EU. And that most of my allowance usage has been in the EU.

 

In which case I have breached the conditions, right?


Without beating about the bush, correct, you would have breached EE's Stable Link condition & would be liable to pay surcharges on your further use. EE will notify you if this is to happen & ask for an explanation.

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by haroon1984 Contributor
Contributor

Re: Moving to EU country while working in UK?

Hi @Christopher_G, thanks for your response.

 

In contrast with the responses at the start of this thread, it now sounds like there is a distinct probability that I would indeed be in violation of EE's terms and conditions. I wouldn't be able to change my usage patterns, so I think it's best that I allow my contract with EE to expire and then join another network.

 

I've discussed this issue with Vodafone and it looks my circumstances would NOT violate their T&Cs. Vodafone's requirement is that you can't spend more than 60 *consecutive* days in a roaming country, and that as soon as you return to the UK the 60 days is reset to 0. So they've assured me that their conditions would not affect me.

 

Looks like I'll be joining Vodafone next month.

 

 

by Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

Re: Moving to EU country while working in UK?

That's fair enough @haroon1984Smiley Happy

 

I would never recommend anyone to move away from their current provider as each person has different needs and not everyone will experience the network the same. However, I personally like EE as it's best for coverage in my area and suits my needs perfectly, but EE might not be the best for your needs. Smiley Happy

 

However, taking that into account, I do find Vodafone to have a better EU roaming policy than that of EE. For example, with EE; you can only use up to 15GB of your data allowance while roaming in the EU, but with Vodafone there is no limit, so if you have 40GB; you can use all of that 40GB while roaming in the EU. Smiley Happy

Highlighted
by haroon1984 Contributor
Contributor

Re: Moving to EU country while working in UK?

Thank you for pointing that out @Inyourbox!

 

That's another important factor to bear in mind. I'd be extremely miffed if I took out a new 60GB contract with EE and then discovered that I could only use a quarter of my allowance in the place where I spend 60% of my time!

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