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Vodafone drops roaming charges in 40 countries

Wednesday, April 12th 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Vodafone has abolished roaming charges in 40 countries – allowing customers to use their phones abroad as they would at home.

New and upgrading pay monthly customers will not be charged extra for using data in 40 destinations across Europe.

Roaming charges within EU countries will be banned after 15 June, when a law passed by the European Parliament comes into effect.

But Vodafone said its offer includes holiday hotspots outside of the EU such as Switzerland, Turkey and the Channel Islands – and that its 40 ‘roam-free’ destinations make up 80% of its customers’ overseas trips.

In a further 60 ‘roam-further’ destinations including the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, customers can use their phone as they would at home for an additional £5 per day.

Nick Jeffery, Vodafone UK CEO, said: “Customers have told us they want us and the rest of the industry to change.

“They want life to be simpler and for us to remove the things which make life stressful so they can live their lives, uninterrupted by these concerns.

“Our new programme will do that over the next few years and will prove our commitment to letting our customers talk, text or stream for a great price, wherever in the world they may be.”

As part of a wider ‘customer campaign’, Vodafone has today introduced flexible upgrades so customers can trade in their phone and upgrade it six months into their contract.

The company has also created TOBi – an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot offering an online web chat service – and recently recruited 2,100 more UK customer service staff.

Vodafone has introduced three new simplified plans to make its mobile contracts easier to understand.

'Essentials' includes unlimited texts, up to 500 minutes and 500MB of data, 'Red Extra' gives you unlimited calls and texts with 40GB of data, and 'Red Entertainment' gives you 60GB of data and a choice of sport, music or TV.

It is customers signing up to one of the new 24-month plans who will be eligible for flexible upgrades.

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