Juicy story before fact-checking in tech press shocker
‘Price gouge' is an evocative term. Earlier this week a press release did the rounds explaining how O2 had just announced huge increases in its roaming costs outside the EU - naturally, we were meant to be outraged.
The press release was on behalf of Tep Wireless - a company that offers alternative mobile roaming products - and included a nice juicy quote from its managing director Tomas Mendoza. According to Mr Mendoza O2 was raising prices "simply because it can" and that operators could charge "what they want."
All these stories slammed O2 for its price hikes, happily quoting Mr Mendoza and explaining the price changes. In summary: bad O2.
What the stories failed to note was that T-Mobile, Orange and Vodafone all charge roughly the same rates already. If anything, O2 customers have been getting a better deal compared to people on other networks. Until now.
We contacted Vodafone who confirmed that their charges for roaming outside of the EU were last changed three to four years ago. T-Mobile upped its worldwide roaming charges on 19 June 2012. Orange said it hadn't changed its worldwide roaming charges since 2007.
In a statement, O2 said it had changed its roaming charges for outside the EU to "remain competitive". That's a fancy way of saying it wanted to charge the what its rivals were charging.
To make things nice and clear, you can click here to see a table with all the roaming charges for all four networks. (MT stands for receiving a call, MO stands for making a call)
People need to be aware of how expensive roaming outside the EU is on all UK networks. O2 is now just as expensive as everyone else. But then that's not really a good news story, is it?
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