back to article Giffgaff 'roam like at home' package means £1/min calls in Jersey

Giffgaff customers may want to think twice before holidaying in tax havens such as the Channel Islands as new roaming charges will hike calls back to Blighty to £1 per minute – up from the current 0.5p rate. From 14 June, the mobile virtual network operator will allow customers to roam in the EU and use their allowances as …

  1. Lee D

    Personally, I'd be asking Jersey and those other territories to step in if I lived there.

    They are the ones who are choosing to be separate, if they cared they'd be integrating or creating local rules that prevent such pricing.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      if I lived there I would just get another sim. Its not that hard or expensive to swap sims if you travel.

      1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

        If I lived there I would be using the local provider. In the same way that I live in the UK so don't use Telstra.

      2. mythicalduck

        Swap sims? Can't you just get a dual-sim phone, then you don't need to swap phones or sims, and all your contacts will be available to both.

  2. wolfetone Silver badge

    "Unfortunately the costs just don't add up otherwise."

    Should actually be:

    "Unfortunately the profit we make from fleecing customers abroad would take a massive hit if we didn't inflate prices elsewhere, especially in places we won't get hit by legal issues."

    There, fixed it for them.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jerseymen complaining about being ripped off? Oh, the irony.

    1. Mellipop


      It's people from UK visiting jersey that will pay roaming charges.

  4. Tim 11

    This will benefit far more people than it harms, so they can probably afford for a few people to leave

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Calm Down

    It will all be levelled out in about two years time, wonder how many Leavers will be winging then?

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Calm Down

      We'll all be winging it by then mate, did you mean wingeing perhaps?

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Calm Down

        Or even "whingeing".

  6. GJC

    There was also the gotcha that meant using a ferry's own base station can be charged at rest of the world rates as, despite being in the EU (between, say, Dover and Calais), the base station may be registered out of the EU, such as in Norway. I got caught a couple of years ago switching on data roaming while docking at Calais and burned through £20 in a very short time. This was with O2 and I expect the same still applies (also with Giffgaff and probably all the other providers).

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      the first text you get (after the phone starts roaming) should tell you WHERE it is roaming from.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Except it's not always timely and if you're jumping from one provider to another and back again it may not even get sent.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          if you don't get one then don't use it. Otherwise turn roaming off and back on again, it isn't hard and depends on what risk you have to spending money. I have a very low risk when it comes to mobiles (Go walking in the lakes and you can roam to the isle of man up Scafell Pike for example).

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Or set the operator manually around borders.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    in jersey just connect to french provider

    Most of jersey can get French mobile signal (which can be a problem too as it can make you unintentionally roam)

    but I suspect the only victim here will be Jersey Telecom.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: in jersey just connect to french provider

      JT might gain some customers - its easy enough to buy a SIM whilst you are there.

    2. matt747

      Re: in jersey just connect to french provider

      Not true I'm afraid. You can (usually) only get a French network when on the north-east/east coast. My parents visit from Oz occasionally and Telstra have no reciprocal with JT, therefore their phones won't register with the local network. Once, they needed to receive a text with an authentication code - it took

      nearly an hour of driving around the north coast in order to connect to a French network.

  8. Alan Edwards


    O2 and EE specifically include the Channel Islands in Europe, how come Giff Gaff don't?

    Adhering to the absolute letter of the new rules not the spirit?

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Why??

      No not adhering to the rules, using the omissions in the rules to justify a commercial decision.

      "A Giffgaff spokeswoman said: "Unfortunately, because the Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey, Monaco and Switzerland are not classed as part of the EU, we cannot include them in our 'Roam Like at Home' offer, and have had to amend the current pricing structure."

      The EU rules don't prohibit Giffgaffe from including non-EU members in their "Roam Like at Home" bundle. Additionally, Giffgaffes position requires a rather strict reading of the rules concerning the Protocol 3 countries and the classifying of mobile call handling as a 'service' and not 'goods'.

      So the question has to be what has changed to cause Giffgaffe to voluntarily remove non-EEA countries and territories, namely: the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Switzerland and Monaco from it's existing European roaming deal.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why??

        Three have no problem with including all those territories in their Feel at Home tariff.

        Giffgaff stopped being attractive long ago, rapidly descending into a normal abusive relationship with users. They abandoned any pretence of running a useful PAYG service almost immediately, their bundles were rapidly caught by rolling contracts from everyone else and firmly in the unlimited doesn't mean unlimited camp.

        Glad I left years ago when the writing was on the wall.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's entertaining watching a**hole mobile providers acting like a** holes in response to legislation imposed because they were acting like a**holes.

  10. welshie

    Giffgaff was a MVNO in Jersey

    Last time I was in Jersey (July 2016), Giffgaff appeared on my phone as a MVNO - it looked no different than being in the UK, and was charged at the same rates. The handset didn't think it was roaming.

    Is this all a storm in a teacup, and only applies if the handset roams onto JT instead of picking up the MVNO?

    Of course, it's possible that Giffgaff no longer appears as MVNO in Jersey.

    1. Steve Evans

      Re: Giffgaff was a MVNO in Jersey

      Indeed... I used to visit Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man for work quite a few moons ago, and I didn't think twice, my phone just worked and charged as it did back home on the big neighbouring island (GB).

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    No mention of Gib in the article - is that classified the same as Channel Islands, or does it have a different status which means it's like roaming at home?

    1. SkippyBing

      Re: Gibraltar

      Gibraltar is part of the EU, so the mobile operators have to treat it as such unlike the Channel Islands. Although in that case I'd be stunned if you couldn't get 100% coverage from Spanish providers.

      1. bloggsthesecond

        Re: Gibraltar

        Gibraltar is not in the EU for most purposes. It varies by operator whether Gib is included in the "European roaming area" or not.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. majarambuz

          Re: Gibraltar

          You're wrong. Gibraltar is part of the EU for most purposes and IS included in the EU roaming charges deal. Relying on a Spanish operator is not practical as coverage dies off in built-up areas.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GiffGaff Marketing and PR Policy

    1. Buy large weapon

    2. Blow foot off.

    Seriously GiffGaff, was the small increase in income worth the bad publicity and ridicule? Was this cleard at the highest level? If so I'm glad I don't own shares in the company if they can be this dumb.

    ps. Just checked. GiffGaff despite selling itself a company run by its users is actually owned by Telefonica, which also own O2 which in turn is the parent network for the GiffGaff MVNO. Given what's been going on with Telefonica /O2 recently, this change seems consistent.

    pps. Norway, Iceland etc are also not in the EU. What about calls to from them?

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: GiffGaff Marketing and PR Policy

      selling itself a company run by its users

      To be fair, its technical support is run but its users - but that seem like absolute crap. Fortunately, they don't run the network, but it does seem to operate on a shoestring (which is why there was so much downtime a while ago when the billing system went TITSUP) which would probably explain the penny-pinching.

  13. SteveThomsit

    Re: GiffGaff Marketing and PR Policy

    Norway etc are part of the EEA and as such are within the scope of EU Roaming Regulations 2017.

    The Channel Islands, Switzerland and the Isle of Man are technically not part of either the EU or the EEA and so don't have to be covered by Roam Like Home for any given operator.

    Some operators are going to include them in their scope and others aren't - it's purely a commercial decision.

    I know this because I've spent the last 6 months working on designing and implementing a rather neat rating solution.

  14. Sparkypatrick

    Weasel words.

    They don't have to charge for those destinations, they choose to. All of them - apart from Monaco - are on Three's list of Feel At Home destinations. A service they offered long before the EU forced the other operators to follow suit.

    A word of warning though to anyone travelling on a ferry or near a coast: neither Roam Like Home nor Feel At Home include the Maritime Network, which is quite expensive to use. Your phone may connect to it without warning. As I discovered the hard way.

  15. Detective Emil

    "Most powerful"?

    It Would Be Nice if it could be explained by what measure this satellite is the "most poweful". El Reg is far from alone in not saying, but hey, this is El Reg. Do tell!

  16. katrinab Silver badge

    If you want to receive calls on your usual number while abroad, and not have to remortgage your house to pay for them, get an O2 account, install the TuGo app, and put a local SIM in your phone. O2 will charge you for using the TuGo app as if you were in the UK, ie no charge for incoming calls, and the local provider will charge you for the data the TuGo app uses.

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