British mobile phone users are facing roaming fees in the Channel Tunnel while the French are charged a domestic rate because the tunnel is being treated as French territory by telecoms companies, the Telegraph reported
The new service, which launched yesterday, allows passengers using Eurostar and the car shuttle service to make and receive calls but sees Brits losing out as the three French mobile phone operators, Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR, have signed an agreement with the Eurotunnel and British firms have not.
Despite 85 per cent of the 20 million people who use the Channel Tunnel being British, it is regarded as French territory by the telecommunications industry. This will remain in place while negotiations with British firms are being made.
This also means that calls can only be made when travelling from France to England and not the other way, resulting in French phone users paying far less to make calls throughout the 32-mile and 330-feet tunnel because their networks are hosting the service.
For Brits having to pay roaming charges, Vodafone has introduced a package which levies a £3 daily charge on customers who use their phone abroad.
'It is ridiculous if British travellers are going to be paying more than others so we urge phone companies to get their act together and agree fair charges with Eurotunnel as soon as possible,' a Which? spokesman said.
'Using a mobile abroad can be hugely expensive, which is why we want phone companies to make consumers aware of exactly how much data they're using and the costs.'
Eurotunnel says French operators signed the agreement for the service to go live before the Olympics while British companies were still negotiating.
Holidaymakers have faced huge bills for roaming in the past and the EU has introduced consumer protection placing a price cap on mobile data roaming charges. Calls within the EU will also now cost no more than 23 pence a minute to make and six pence per minute to receive.
What do you think about British mobile phone users having to pay more than the French in the Channel Tunnel? Leave a comment below and let us know.
Brits pay more flight tax than Europeans
Air passengers say no to mobile and internet on planes
Roaming charges in Europe to be halved