25. How can I avoid getting large bills for using the Internet in roaming within and outside the European Economic Area (EEA)?

Regulation (EU) no. 531/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 June 2012https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1132567, as amended by Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1373317, requires mobile operators within and outside the EEA1 to automatically provide users with a free application which customers can use to obtain information on accumulated data consumption in roaming, expressed in traffic volume or in euros.

This application must also ensure that a user's consumption does not exceed a limit of 50 euros per month (excluding VAT). If this limit is exceeded, the operator will send a warning to your phone or other device (e.g. computer) with instructions if you want to continue to access the Internet while roaming even after exceeding the defined consumption limit, including information on the costs incurred in the case of additional consumption. Once the consumption limit has been reached, and if the user does not follow the operator's instructions, continued Internet access in roaming will be immediately blocked.

The value of 50 euros/month (excluding VAT) does not apply to sending/receiving MMS messages if these are billed per message, even though this service entails the transfer of data. However, if MMS messages are charged on a per-megabyte basis, they will be counted for the purpose of the 50-euro limit.

The operator will also send a warning to your phone or computer when you reach 80 percent of your consumption limit. You can ask your operator to stop sending these warnings free of charge.

As from 1 November 2010, whenever roaming customers want to activate or deactivate the "volume or financial limit", this must be done for them free of charge and within one working day of the operator receiving the request. This operation cannot be made subject to any conditions or restrictions related to any other aspect of the customer's subscription.

When customers travel outside the EEA, it is possible that the operator of the visited country does not allow the customer's home operator user to monitor customer Internet consumption in real time. In this case, the customer must be notified by SMS when entering that country (immediately and free of charge) that information about accumulated consumption will not be available and that the feature which ensures that the specified financial limit is not exceeded will not work.


1 European Union countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.