Roaming banditry

David Snyder has had a bad experience with a disproportionately high bill while roaming. His report is at

1980s Dodge Ram Van Verizon

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Having read it, it seems to me that Verizon is trading in Europe. That is to say, it is selling data access to US subscribers to its service who are in Europe when they receive the service.

It also seems to me it may be likely that European legislation already provides remedies for this kind of behaviour by companies, dealing with consumers with bad faith.

Read what the UK’s Department of Businesshave to say about the Unfair Business Practices Directive particularly the wording which reads  ‘contrary to the requirement of good faith’.

What is especially interesting is that the European networks that Verizon uses to deliver the service to Verizon subscribers in Europe will charge approximately 0.1 eurocents per megabyte (that’s around €15 per gigabyte) to domestic consumers.

My VODAFONE.UK contract gives me 3 gB each month for ₤10.  I have a VODAFONE.DE data plan where the data costs are similar. Airtel-Vodafone in Guernsey and Jersey charges ₤0.01 per megabyte whch equates to ₤10 per gig. There seems to be a consensus here ..

So how much is Verizon really paying to the European network wholesale if European networks can make these charges retail and still make a profit?

I’d love to see someone take Verizon or another roaming bandit to court in an EU country where such services were delivered.

At some point what is within reasonable range of profit becomes consumer gouging. And while I happen to live in a territory, like the US, whose legal system honours the Victorian principles of freedom of contract, there has to be a limit. (Should we still expect illiterates to be bound when the back of their train ticket has a written notice saying that contractual terms are  available in written form upon applying at the railroad ticket office before departure?).


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