The European Commission (EC) has outlined new plans to govern how much data, text and phone services travellers can use when roaming costs are abolished across the continent.
The EC had previously suggested a 90-day cap on roaming in any one year and no more than 30 consecutive days' use. However, this led to a backlash from many, who argued that such caps went against the purpose of the proposals.
This criteria has now been removed from the plans, and replaced with much looser definitions of the maximum roaming travellers can enjoy.
Operators can take issue with a customer only if they can identify a clear difference between their domestic and roaming mobile data use or "long inactivity" on SIM cards that then become active when roaming.
If an operator sees such behaviour it must alert the customer that he or she is misusing the roaming system.
Even then operators can apply only small surcharges. The EC has proposed a maximum of €0.04 per minute for a call, €0.01 for an SMS and €0.0085 per megabyte of data.
There will be no ability for retrospective billing, and operators must put a complaints procedure in place to handle any disputes with customers.
Günther Oettinger, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, explained that the new rules will ensure a fair platform for all when roaming is abolished next summer.
"Commission action on roaming prices has delivered for European consumers. Today's draft rules ensure we can end roaming charges as of 15 June 2017 for all people who travel periodically in the EU, while ensuring that operators have the tools to guard against abuse of the rules," he said.
The rules are now open for feedback from relevant EU bodies, including the Body of European Regulators in Electronic Communications, ahead of a vote in December.
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