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Having a mobile phone with you can significantly improve trips abroad, whether it’s booking a local hotel, keeping in touch with family and colleagues or simply bragging to friends about what a wonderful time you are having on the beach.

But you may find the pleasure stops abruptly when you receive the bill. Calling from abroad has long been a bone of contention and one area to be especially watchful of is calls to and from your answerphone.

No matter which operator you have, using voicemail abroad can be extremely expensive. If a call connects to your answerphone, you will often be charged for an incoming and outgoing call – as the call will be directed back to your UK mailbox – even if the caller does not leave a message.

On Vodafone’s cross-network saver tariff, this amounts to more than £2 before VAT if you are in the US and about £1.50 in western Europe – quite steep for what could be a two-second connection.

Also, unless you have switched off the “Alert and Deliver” function on your handset, your voicemail will call you back multiple times to say have a message and you will be charged at the same rate even if you do not answer the call.

There are some ways of cutting the cost. Vodafone has recently launched Vodafone Passport – a service that offers callers the chance to pay an upfront charge of 75p per call they make when abroad, which will then allow them to take their home tariff with them.

Mobile users would also be wise to switch off the voicemail callback service on their handsets.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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