Mobile Phone Users Charged Five Times Cost of Foreign Calls

Article excerpt

Byline: SEAN POULTER

MOBILE phone companies are guilty of massive profiteering on the cost of calls made abroad, it has been revealed.

Britons using their handsets overseas are being charged some five times the actual costs incurred by their networks.

Holidaymakers and businessmen can be charged [pounds sterling]1.50 a minute - sometimes more - to both make and receive calls when abroad.

However, industry insiders have revealed the true wholesale cost is around 30p a minute. The massive mark-ups deliver huge profits to the major networks, Vodafone, Orange, T-mobile and O2.

But the charges come as a huge shock to consumers receiving the bills on their return home.

Victims of the sting also include students and young adults backpacking around the world before starting university or a job. These budget travellers can find the mobile bills leave a huge hole in their finances.

The figures behind the rip-off have been revealed by Dial-Abroad, one of a number of new phone companies that are cutting the cost of using mobiles for foreign calls. One of the founders, Chris Smith, said: 'The cost of making landline calls to and from overseas has come down dramatically over the past three or four years.

'However, the mobile networks have been left behind with their very high charges.

They are clearly making a lot of money out of the situation and don't see any good reason to change.' A number of firms have been launched in the past two years in response to public anger about the rip-off costs. …