Help and support

Top holiday tips for your services

We’ve put together some top tips to get the most out of your services while you’re away on holiday or leaving the house for a long period.

Mobile

Before you fly off abroad, check if your mobile SIM includes roaming/what the costs are – or what you may need to do before you leave.

If you have a mobile SIM with UW, the great news is that EU roaming is still included in your allowance (subject to your plan and fair use limits which you can read about below). Just remember that you need to update your settings before you leave

Mobile fair use policy that applies while roaming

If you have one of our Mobile Unlimited plans or our Value Prime 40GB plan, a fair usage policy of 14GB whilst roaming in our Europe Zone will apply (i.e. you can use up to 14GB from your allowance while roaming). Once you’ve used your fair use policy amount when roaming, we will notify you and surcharges will apply to continue using data when roaming in our Europe Zone. You can read our full fair usage policy

If you’re with UW:

Before you leave

Check you have roaming enabled on your UW SIM. Our UW SIMs are supplied with roaming off by default to avoid any surprises. So you need to switch it on before you travel if you want to use it. Take a look at your online account or app to check if your roaming is on, and remember to check for each SIM on your account separately.

If you need to turn roaming on, you can either use the toggles in your online account or in the app. If you’re a Budget Control customer, you may need to give us a call, and our team will be happy to check and change your settings for you. Find out more

Check the roaming charges for your destination. The good news is that if you’re traveling in the EU or EEA, our

policy means you won’t pay more while you’re abroad. 

Locate the roaming settings on your phone. This differs by mobile brand and operating system, but your handset will have roaming settings you can use to make sure you don’t roam accidentally. For example, when on a cruise or to avoid incurring charges outside of Roam like Home. Make sure roaming services are enabled on your handset before you try and use your SIM abroad too. 

Worried about racking up bills?

For extra peace of mind, if you’re going away after the 1st of the next month, you can ask us to switch on Budget Control for you. This means you’ll need to top up before you can roam, so you know exactly how much you can spend. But if you’re traveling within the EU/EEA, usage is included in your allowance thanks to our Roam like Home service, even if you don’t top up. 

To protect you from running up a high bill, there is a £54 cap for data roaming when you are roaming outside the EU and EEA. We will let you know when you get close to the cap and when you have reached the cap. You can remove the cap if you want to continue using data roaming. 

International calls are always added to your next monthly bill. But if you’re worried about those, you can ask us to set a spending cap to avoid any surprises. Just give us a call. 

Best practice when roaming

  • Connect to Wi-Fi wherever possible to avoid using mobile data.

  • Pay particular attention to your network around borders and countries with more than one zone in them (e.g. Turkey or Cyprus). If your phone connects to a network outside of the EU/EEA (which can be different to the country you’re in when you’re near a border), you could be charged for out-of-bundle usage.

  • If using your phone when away from land (e.g. on a cruise or ferry), you may connect directly to a satellite without going through a phone company. The cost of using your phone this way is drastically higher than any other way. A good tip is  to keep your phone on airplane mode during the crossing.

  • Turn off your smartphone’s setting that switches you to a 3/4G signal if it's stronger than your Wi-Fi signal. Each manufacturer will have a different name for this such as: Wi-Fi assist, Smart switch, Wi-Fi+ etc. This will stop you from automatically using mobile data where the Wi-Fi signal is weak.

What to do if you have problems abroad

If your phone won’t connect to a network abroad, take a look at our most common solutions

. If you’re having mobile problems abroad you may not have the internet to reach this page, so please take a look beforehand. 

Energy

Whether your energy is with us here at UW, or with another supplier, there are a few tips that everyone can follow while they’re away and during the summer months to help save energy.

Turn off before you set off

Before you go away, unplug your devices and appliances. Electronics like your TV, stereo and computer continue to use electricity when they’re in standby mode. It’s called ‘phantom load’. Turning them completely off when they're not being used could save you as much as £40 a year.

Turn off your lights – or switch to smart LEDs

By switching off lights when you're not using them, you can save around £14 a year on your energy bills. But if you want to leave some lights on for security, consider switching to smart LEDs. LED bulbs can help the average household save around £30 every year on bills vs households with traditional bulbs. And although there’s a cost to purchase them, LEDs last for much longer than traditional bulbs and will save you money in the long run. Plus, if you choose smart LEDs, you can easily control when they turn on and off from your phone. 

You can find the sources for the above information and more tips on how to save energy

.

Cashback Card

Can I use my Cashback Card abroad?

Absolutely. You can use your Cashback Card for any purchase where Mastercard is accepted. While you won't earn 1% or more on transactions as you do in the UK, it’s very handy when it comes to foreign exchange fees – read on below to find out more. 

How do foreign exchange fees on merchant transactions work?

The 3% foreign exchange fee for each transaction will be charged to your card, but then refunded as cashback on your next monthly bill. So unlike some other cards used abroad, you effectively won't be paying exchange fees on purchases as you’ll get them back as money off your bill.

How do foreign exchange fees at ATMs work?

This works differently to merchant transactions as although you can also use your Cashback Card to take out money at an ATM abroad, you’ll be charged 3% of the amount you withdraw as a foreign exchange fee that you won’t get back as cashback on your bill. Please also note that some cash machines may charge extra withdrawal charges on top of this. 

You can read more about how your card works abroad in the

Can I top up my account when abroad?

Of course! You can continue to top up via the UW app no matter where you are as long as you have internet access. 

Lost or stolen card

Losing or having your card stolen while on holiday can be a serious dampener. However, you can quickly block your card via the UW app to prevent it from being used in shops, online or to withdraw cash from ATMs. 

To block your Cashback Card: Open the ‘Cashback’ section of the UW app or in your online account. Select the option ‘Cards’, followed by 'Block card’.

You can then get in contact with us when you return home to order a replacement card to be delivered to the address your card is registered to.

Push notifications for security

Whether you’re at home or abroad, we recommend you keep your push notifications turned on so you can quickly spot any transactions you don’t recognise. You can find further tips for staying safe in our help article

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