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Europe and Me. Getting us a fair deal?. The European Union. An Expensive Holiday. While on holiday, Sacha catches up with friends from home. He leaves his laptop switched on…. Back home, a few weeks later, Sacha can’t believe the size of the bill for his Internet use.

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getting us a fair deal

Getting us a fair deal?

The European Union


Internet Use in Europe






Non EU

Source: Eurostat

February 2008

did you know
Did you know?
  • A man in the UK received a 13,200 euro bill after his wife downloaded four episodes of Friends through his mobile phone. Had she downloaded the programmes in UK, it would have been free. But after starting the download in the UK, she flew on to Germany and finished it there, where the roaming data fees for mobile broadband are much higher.
  • (Source: Broadband Watchdog, 3 March 2008).
did you know1
Did you know?
  • An English solicitor who watched TV shows from the UK over the internet while on holiday returned home to a bill for 5,880 euros from her mobile phone company. During a long weekend on the French Riviera, she decided to catch up on the latest episodes of some of her favourite TV shows, using the BBC’s iPlayer service. She downloaded the programme to her laptop computer using a Vodafone 3G card, which enables fast internet access. What she didn’t realise was that, in common with most other telecoms firms, her supplier charges a much higher rate outside the UK.
  • (Source: Daily Telegraph)
did you know2
Did you know?
  • Roaming is when you make or receive a mobile phone call abroad. It is usually more expensive than when you are at home because the foreign network makes an additional charge.
  • The EU Roaming Regulation sets a ceiling on roaming charges for mobile phone calls made or received within the EU. It came into force in 2007. This ceiling is called the Eurotariff, and itcan lower your roaming charges by up to 60%.
  • The problem is that, currently, this regulation does not cover SMS and data roaming services – such as sending a text message or downloading data in another country.
did you know3
Did you know?
  • The EU Distance Selling Directive sets EU-wide standards for buying and selling things at a distance, e.g., by mail order, TV shopping channels, email or the internet.
  • These include requiring the seller to:
  • tell you the full price of what you want to buy, including taxes and delivery charges
  • tell you about your right to cancel the contract if you wish and how you go about this
  • give you a 7-day cooling-off period from the day after you receive the goods, in case you want to cancel the order and return them.
did you know4
Did you know?
  • The EU has introduced a range of measures to protect consumers – including:
  • a two-year guarantee on all goods sold in the EU
  • safety standards on goods like toys, electrical appliances, cosmetics and household products
  • rules to prevent misleading advertisements.
did you know5
Did you know?
  • The European Commission has set up a European Consumer Centre (ECC) in every Member State. These centres give you free advice on your rights as a consumer and help you to handle your consumer complaints – especially when you have made a cross-border purchase.
  • Michel, who lives in France, bought a digital camera from a German website. He paid €300 in advance and was told the camera had been sent through the post. But it never arrived. Michel tried to contact the trader several times but, when he got no response, he turned for help to the European Consumer Centre (ECC) in France. The French ECC contacted the German online consumer body, which was able to go straight to the trader. As the trader had no proof of postage, he had to provide Michel with a new camera.