Mobile phone internet users are now protected from 'shock' mobile phone bills for surfing the internet.

New roaming rules introduced on Monday allow mobile phone internet users to oblige their mobile phone operator to notify them and even cut them off when their bill reaches a certain limit. The default limit is 50 Euros, but customers are free to set a higher or lower limit so that they don't get a 'shock' bill at the end of the month.

The mobile phone operator must notify the customer when their bill reaches 80% of the amount set, and cut the customer off when their bill reaches the amount set unless the limit is changed. If the operator does not fulfil it's obligation to notify customers when they reach 80% of their limit, and does not cut them off at 100%, customers can complain to the European Commission who will deal with the complaint and impose sanctions on the operator.

To activate the service, customers must apply through their operator, however from 1 July 2010, customers who have not yet applied will receive the service at the 50 Euro default limit. They will then have to contact their operator if they wish to change the limit.

The aim of the new rules is to encourage mobile internet users to surf the internet safe in the knowledge that they won't be hit with a 'shock' bill at the end of the month. This should increase their confidence when using their mobile phone to surf the internet, and allow them to more fully utilise the mobile roaming facilities available to them. It is also thought that the rules will eventually reduce the cost of data roaming, as customers become more aware of the level of internet access they get for their money.