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23 July 2012

Brits Stung By Calls to Olympic Guests

BRITS STUNG BY CALLS TO OLYMPIC GUESTS
 One in ten households to host overseas guests during Games Families to face up to £200 in additional phone charges for calling visitors
 Less than two per cent aware of the charges
Lebara launches Family and Tourist SIM packs for low rate calls to overseas
numbers
Brits are being warned they could incur up to £200 in unexpected mobile call charges when they phone friends and family visiting from abroad during the Olympics, according to a new study.1
The report, commissioned by mobile telecoms operator Lebara, reveals that one in ten UK households2 will host visitors from abroad during the Olympic Games, who could fall victim to charges of more than £1.50 per minute to call from their mobile phones.
Mobile phones were revealed as the most common way to keep in touch with guests, with 26 million phone calls expected to be made to overseas visitors over the course of the Games.3
When questioned, less than two per cent were aware that calls made to visiting friends and family will be charged at the standard international rate – the same as calling their mobile abroad. Four out of ten people believe they will be paying less than 10p a minute for the calls.
The charges could leave Brits with bills of up to £200 for just three weeks – more than eight times the average monthly phone bill4. It means families across the UK could face an additional £20million in charges this summer.5
Rajesh Dongre, COO of Lebara, says: “People don’t realise that even though their guests are in the UK, and probably in very close proximity to them, they are actually paying the same as if they were on the other side of the world. Millions of Brits around the UK are going to incur the costs of generously hosting guests during the games so the last thing they or their guests need is the legacy of a big phone bill at the end of it.”
Lebara’s research revealed more North Americans are heading to the UK than any other nationality, and Brits hosting these visitors are likely to be hit worst by the charges, with calls
1 According to Lebara research through One Poll of 3,000 consumers, from nationally representative sample, questioned online on 17/7/12
2 http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/family-demography/families-and-households/...
A quarter of Brits have visitors staying with them during Olympics. 40 per cent from overseas.
3 According to Lebara research through One Poll 17/7/12
4 According to research conducted by One Poll on 12/07/12 incl survey of 2,000 consumers, from nationally representative sample, questioned online
5 According to Lebara research through One Poll 17/7/12

to handsets on US networks costing just over £1 per minute on average – nearly 12 times the average UK mobile phone rate of 8.5p.6
The study found that even those with friends and family closer to home will be stung by higher call charges. Other sports fans coming to the UK include those from France, Romania, Spain and Poland, for which the average standard overseas call charge is 98p per minute.7
The study was commissioned by Lebara to mark the launch of its Family and Tourist SIM packs, which allow free calls between UK Lebara users and low rate calls to overseas numbers, including mobiles. By using a Pay as You Go SIM card from Lebara, British mobile phone users could save themselves hundreds of pounds in charges during the Olympic weeks alone.
The guests themselves also face big bills when they call home to celebrate medal success. Lebara’s report found that around 20 per cent of people intend to make calls during and after the biggest sporting events, while more than a third (35 per cent) would send a text.
Using a Lebara UK SIM card, standard rates for calls to the USA are 6p per minute to a landline or mobile, while charges for calling any phone in India are just 1p per minute. Calls to Romanian or Polish mobiles are charged at 10p a minute (and 2p and 1p respectively for landlines) while all international text messages cost 12p to send.
Lebara also offers low rates for national calls (including 5p a minute to UK landlines) and calls to dozens of other countries around the world, including China, Nigeria, Australia and Pakistan.
Lebara Mobile Family and Tourist SIM packs are available at branches of Phones4U and selected retailers nationwide.
For more information, please call:
Steve Kirk
M&C Saatchi PR
Tel: 020 7544 3631
Email: steve.kirk@mcsaatchi.com
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Further information is available at: http://www.lebara.co.uk