Brits face phone bill of thousands for World Cup trip to Russia

Tyrone Stewart

England football flagEnglish football fans travelling to Russia in a few weeks’ time could be met with a hefty phone bill when they land back on home soil – running up thousands in roaming charges during the 2018 World Cup.

According to price comparison site, travelling fans could face roaming charges of up to £3,696 for a two-week trip to Russia, which is equivalent to a four-star family holiday for four to Los Angeles.

Outgoing call charges will cost £2.07 per minute on average, based on just five calls a day, add that to 10 texts, listening to one voicemail, and with average data costs of £4.37, Brits could be adding £210.51 to their phone bills each day.

“The rule when it comes to roaming is to plan ahead. With a single MB of data costing as much as £7.20 in Russia, there are plenty of reasons that travellers and football fans alike need to be wary when roaming outside of the EU,” said Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at “With data costs so high, even with a small amount of usage users can quickly hit the protective cap and there’s a real temptation to opt out. It’s important to note that unbridled roaming after doing so could see your bills soar.

“With the World Cup kicking off in less than a month and the summer holidays fast approaching, it’s well worth looking now at the roaming deals on the market to make sure you don’t get stung by sky-high bills when you return.”

uSwitch found that the risk of being hit by roaming charges isn’t exclusive to football fans heading to Russia either. 20 per cent of Brits have returned from abroad with an unusually high phone bill.

Furthermore, there is a lack of understanding about in general – with 57 per cent of Brits thinking roaming charges are the same in the EU as anywhere else in the world or are unsure. More worryingly, 28 per cent of people think that all European countries are covered by the EU rules, hence why they are more likely to be hit heavily out in Russia, a non-EU nation.