European visitors 'turn phones off' to avoid charges


More than a quarter of European visitors turn their phones off to avoid the risk of roaming charges, research from the European Commission suggests.

A survey of 28,000 people across the EU said 47% of respondents also did not use mobile internet while travelling.

European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes said she was shocked by the figures, which researchers believe reflect a fear of high charges.

"It shows we have to finish the job and eliminate roaming charges," she said.
"It's not just a fight between holiday-makers and telecoms companies.
"Consumers are limiting their phone use in extreme ways, and this makes no sense for the companies, either." 

Ms Kroes added: "Millions of businesses face extra costs because of roaming, and companies like app makers lose revenue, too. Roaming makes no sense in a single market - it's economic madness."
Telecoms analyst Matthew Howett told the BBC: "I don't think the findings are that surprising. Customers can come back to nasty bill shocks when they use their phone abroad."

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