Citizens of the European Union will no longer have to worry about bill shock due to data roaming charges. On Monday, new legislation went into effect that caps the amount carriers can charge customers.
The cap will put customers in the driver’s seat, requiring that they set a maximum monthly data usage limit with their mobile operators by July 1. Those who do not notify their operator of a limit will default to a $68 limit.
Operators are required to send a warning when customers use up to 80 percent of their allotment. At the limit, their data services will be cut off.
“Protection against data roaming bill shocks is a useful step towards building customers’ confidence to use mobile networks to surf the Internet when travelling around Europe. Such confidence is essential if people and businesses are to use the Internet to its full potential,” said Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes in a statement.
A press release by the European Commission cited past billing catastrophes, such as a German traveler who downloaded a TV show while roaming in France and incurred charges of €46 000. In another example, a U.K. student received a bill of almost €9 000 for data roaming during a single month while studying abroad.