Vodafone UK makes roaming free in 40 countries

James Pearce
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Vodafone has overhauled a number of customer offers, whilst also launching what it claims is the UK mobile industry's first customer service chatbot

Vodafone UK has completely abolished roaming charges in 40 destinations, while reducing the cost to roam in 60 more countries.

The new offer means Vodafone’s UK customers will be able to make calls, texts and use their data allowance for no extra charge in 40 locations across Europe. It will cost them £5 per day to use their allowances in a further 60 locations.

The offer follows a similar deal, launched last year, which saw Vodafone make calls and texts completely free in 40 locations. Customers also got free access to data, but the amount available was originally capped.

The offer is available to all new and upgrading customers 12 April. The 40 countries includes the 28 countries in the European Union, where all operators will be forced to offer free roaming from 15 June 2017 as part of an EU directive.

Nick Jeffery, Vodafone UK CEO said: “Customers have told us they want us and the rest of the industry to change. They want life to be simpler and for us to remove the things which make life stressful so they can live their lives, uninterrupted by these concerns. 

“Our new programme will do that over the next few years and will prove our commitment to letting our customers talk, text or stream for a great price, wherever in the world they may be.”

It is one of a number of changes announced by the UK operator, which has also introduced flexible upgrades for its customer base. These will allow customers to upgrade their mobile handsets after just six months, instead of waiting the usual length of the contract.

Rival O2 UK already offers flexible upgrades through its Refresh Tariff, which splits the cost of airtime from the cost of handsets.

Vodafone has also launched a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbot, called TOBi, which help customers troubleshoot problems. It is already operating on Vodafone’s online portal, and will soon be added to its My Vodafone app, the operator said.