Ferry passengers fall outside EU fair roaming charges

5 Aug 2010

While EU mobile operators reduced their roaming charges in June 2010 to fall in line with the maximum price caps established by EU rules, it turns out that a loophole leaves customers on ferries off the Irish coast paying full whack.

Customers with major ferry operators, including Irish Ferries and Stena Line, are paying far more than the EU maximum for using mobile phones on board because the mobile comms service used by these operators are not subject to EU roaming rules that caps the price of text messages, voice calls and data usage.

The mobile service is provided by a company in Norway called Maritime Communications Partner, which is not legally obliged to follow the roaming caps and the Irish Examiner reports that thousands of Irish mobile phone users have been charged four times the cap.

While O2, Vodafone and Meteor are partners with Maritime Communications Partner, these mobile operators warn their customers via text that they are about to incur higher charges beyond the EU cap.