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Roaming - Fairness

Started by: k89bpa
On: 26/06/2018 | 12:18
Replies: 6
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by: k89bpa
on: 26/06/2018 | 12:18

Just thinking about the whole kicking people off the EU roam like home thing...

 

Before I begin, I must stress that this does not affect me personally, if I was roaming I'd be using my Vodafone account because Vodafone roaming kicks the behind of O2 roaming, especially in destinations I'd be likely to visit and allowances. From a personal perspective I couldn't care less. 

 

It does seem somewhere unfair to users, especially low users who when they're home might favour using their fixed line services but have greater need of mobile services when not at home, to kick them off the EU roam like home deal. 

 

Do any other networks do this?

 

Have any giffgaff users been caught out by this?

 

I know my Vodafone account is slightly different because it's a contract but I don't lose roaming faculties of I shove the phone in a drawer unused for months and then pull it out and take it abroad. Do giffgaff count topping up regularly as "usage" regardless of whether the allowances used are utilized or not, (would a string of purchases but zero actual usage see a user retain roam like home privileges?). 

 

I got a text this morning which just got me thinking.

 

If other companies do likewise on PAYG then fair enough, but if they don't it would be a significant black mark against giffgaff in the eyes of some potential customers. I'm no expert in the PAYG market, (I largely just ignore it), but I'm curious about this. Anyone know how other companies manage their roaming eligibility?

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by: glaswegianeric
on: 26/06/2018 | 14:11
@k89bpa That does look unfair. Wouldn't affect me personally either as giffgaff wouldn't be my roaming provider of choice. Think with other PayG sims what matters is how much time you spend outside UK vs how much you spend in the UK, if they decide that you are "living" in the EU, they apply surcharges. No requirements, as far as I am aware, to actively use the sim in the UK, i.e. you arrive back home and your "time in the UK" clock starts ticking, nobody cares whether your sim is in your wallet or in your phone.
Message 2 of 7
by: shabazmoqsud
on: 26/06/2018 | 15:10

@k89bpa @glaswegianeric i guessbthis only affects those members that travel alot in the eu.  Personally no difference to me but giffgaff do need to improve the roaming experience for giffgaff members.

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Message 3 of 7
by: harrrrrry
on: 26/06/2018 | 22:40

@k89bpa

 


I know my Vodafone account is slightly different because it's a contract but I don't lose roaming faculties of I shove the phone in a drawer unused for months and then pull it out and take it abroad.

I'd say that is a lot more than a "slight" difference. It's a contract, and therefore you are paying for the service 12 months per year, even if you choose not to use it in specific months. But even with a contract, Vodaphone would be entitled under EU rules to refues service if EU/EEA service over a 4 month period exceeds UK usage, and might choose to do so if a significant number of non-UK users set up accounts with no intention of ever using the service in the UK.

 

But let's stick to low usage PAYG. It seems to me that by adopting the "roam like at home" phrase, and by the incorporation of the 4 month rule, the EU rulemakers consider that the facility should be used to roam like at home, not roam significantly more than at home. So personally I don't see any reason to quibble if giffgaff provides only the service that EU requires it to.

 

EU rules don't allow giffgaff to bar service altogether. The most giffgaff can do is to impose the EU-permitted supplement of 3.2p/minute, 1p/text, 0.6p/MB to be paid in addition to the cost of their goodybag.

 

As far as I can see, it doesn't affect low value (PAYG without a goodybag) users at all. The PAYG price is exacty the same in EU/EEA as in UK and for that there is no supplement payable even if they haven't used the service in the UK at all.

 

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Message 4 of 7
by: k89bpa
on: 26/06/2018 | 22:57 edited: 26/06/2018 | 22:59

That's the thing though @harrrrrry, the same user type holidaying in the UK would not be penalised, but the one holidaying in with EU would be, which is where the claim of "roam like at home" falls down.

The first user gets to take advantage of the packages them being away from their fixed line makes necessary, the second user doesn't.

It's never going to affect me personally, but it does seem to me to be penalising, one could even say discriminating against, one type of user.

On the point of Vodafone and the differences, that's why I asked the question about whether or not simply buying packages means that people remain eligible regardless of whether they use the allowances they purchase or not.

Someone buying 12x£20 packages on giffgaff is doing exactly what I do on Vodafone, but whereas I know I could not use my phone for months and then go to the Balkans for a month and use my phone as I please, whether a giffgaff user could do the same is unclear.

 

Oh and on your last point, that's not what I was saying, for it is not unexpected that someone who uses a fixed line and keeps their mobile usage low because of that will need and use more when they do not have that fixed line access. 

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Message 5 of 7
by: harrrrrry
on: 27/06/2018 | 08:35

That's the thing though @harrrrrry, the same user type holidaying in the UK would not be penalised, but the one holidaying in with EU would be, which is where the claim of "roam like at home" falls down.

Agreed, but you're not roaming when you take a holiday in the UK -- a week in a UK holiday resort does not come with an entitlement to use a different network to your own, so giffgaff is not having to pay a roaming partner for your service.  But actually, although giffgaff is entitled under EU roaming rules to limit the number of days and services used over rolling 4 month period, currently it's only a "reserved right" to be used in cases of abuse.

 

I see no reports that anybody has been told they cannot buy a bigger goodybag for the month(s) they are away, or that because they only used the services on four days in the last 2 months using 127 MB of data and 17 minutes of calls, they're restricted to using 127MB and 17 minutes over four days, which the EU's fair usage policy says they could legally do.

 

So far, giffgaff is imposing the supplement (not restricting any EU/EEA services) if services are not used at all in the UK for 2 months and giving fair warning. But sending even a single text from the UK seems to be sufficient to reinstate inclusive goodybag for another 2 months, the same as it does for the 6 month sim timeout.

 

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Message 6 of 7
by: k89bpa
on: 27/06/2018 | 09:38
If there have been no issues then perhaps it is a niche thing and may affect few to zero, but the fact remains, it could still affect people in a negative way @harrrrrry.

It is perfectly possible for someone to purchase an allowance and not use any of it. It is perfectly possible that they could do this for a number of months, especially if a user has a fixed line phone package and internet connection as their primary communications tool. Similarly, it is perfectly possible that such users on PAYG could go months only receiving incoming calls and texts.

Why should such people lose "roam like home" eligibility if indeed they do they lose "roam like home" eligibility? A question which still has not been answered conclusively although it's highly likely that they would because as you point out, such users, (PAYG anyway, doesn't topping up reset this particular clock?), would be at risk of losing their account entirely if used in such a manner for a period of time.

If there was zero usage at all, as in not even a network connection, then I'd say that it was fair enough to restrict roam like home eligibility as the network clearly is not being used, but for everyone else who may be affected... it just seems to be extremely unfair.
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