Earlier this summer, UK mobile network Three announced a massive expansion of their “Feel at Home” scheme, essentially adding all the missing European countries to the list.
This means that, wherever you are in the EU, calls, texts and data are priced the same as when you’re at home. Three’s package also includes some other countries, notably Australia, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Macua, Israel, Indonesia and the United States.
In theory, then, it can save you a small fortune when travelling, though some people have found performance isn’t always what it should be.
Of course, by this time next year, roaming charges will have been effectively abolished for all EU customers, so the expansion of Three’s offering to the 24 new nations is really just bringing that forward. Nevertheless, it’s great news for people heading abroad.
Update, 8th September: an overnight update to the Three site has quietly changed things from “In September” to simply say 42 countries. So it looks like from today, the likes of Germany and the Netherlands are now included.
At least, that’s what you might hope. There are events in the Netherlands and Germany that I’m interested in this month, and both of those are new additions to the list of countries, so I’m sure I wasn’t the only person who was delighted to read in last month’s press release that
Three reveals great news for travellers by announcing its Feel at Home service, which allows people to use their phone abroad at no extra cost, will extend to an additional 24 European destinations, including Germany, Portugal and Greece from September.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of vagueness there, and the company’s PR team weren’t able to clarify it when I asked in August. I’ve asked again, because it’s now September and as of today, the Feel at Home page of the website still says
In September, we will be adding 24 new destinations
Which means that, presumably, they’re not added yet. There’s no date given, so if you are travelling to one of these countries, you might well find yourself having to buy a Euro Internet Pass (£5 a day), to avoid being charged higher roaming fees.
If you’re lucky, you’ll get a text message saying you’re in a Feel at Home country – but until you do, don’t assume anything, and keep an eye on that page. It’s worth noting also that some of the company’s newer tariffs don’t include Feel at Home, so if you’ve recently joined the network, do check if it applies to you.
Three really should be more on the ball with this – people traveling in September don’t want to be caught out by fees, and surely it can’t be hard to list a specific date when the new regime comes into force.