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Is the English Channel Actually Iceland?

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Is the English Channel Actually Iceland?

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

A Guardian reader has ended up with a GBP 22 (ISK 4300/EUR 28) data roaming bill during a ferry trip home to the UK from France, because his mobile phone provider believes he was in Iceland.

O2 refused to refund the money spent on roaming in Iceland, despite the fact that the user was in the English Channel. The confused ferry passenger asked The Guardian consumer guru, “What’s going on?”

“My phone showed it was receiving O2 UK so I switched the data roaming back on, reassuring myself that even if we were not in British waters the maximum I would be charged would be GBP 1.99 (the advertised O2 daily rate in Europe).” But that was not to be.

Further investigation revealed that the onboard public satellite communications are provided by an Icelandic company and, the ferry company says, information and prices are posted around the ship.

Rather than Iceland being directly to blame for the high bill, it is likely that the phone accidentally connected to the satellite phone network onboard, whether or not it could have accessed its home network instead.

“Other ferry passengers take note!” The Guardian warns.

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