CICRA tells telecom companies to limit roaming charges

Telecommunications companies in the Channel Islands have been warned by their regulator to introduce a monthly £40 cap on data roaming charges.

The Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities (CICRA) said it had received nine complaints from customers facing bills of up to £7,000.

It said many people were unaware their smartphone apps would download data without notifying them.

CICRA said it would "look to issue a direction" if no cap was introduced.

Andrew Riseley, the authorities' chief executive, said: "This [capping] system operates successfully throughout the EU and evidence suggests that it has assisted greatly in reducing the prevalence of 'bill shock'."

CICRA said customers would be able to contact their operator to opt out of the cap if they wanted to exceed the limit.

A spokesperson for CICRA said it was likely that many customers were affected and that the number would rise as smartphones become more popular.

She said: "Customers often resolve issues with their operators direct or by reporting to trading standards. Therefore CICRA does not necessarily hear about every case."

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