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How to Contest iPhone Data Roaming Charges

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If you're not careful, iPhone data roaming charges can add up to hundreds or thousands extra on your monthly bill. These aren't isolated incidents, as the many iPhone data roaming horror stories on this site prove.

But just because the charges show up on your bill doesn't mean you're stuck with them. These instructions will help you contest the charges and, if you're persistent and lucky, maybe not have to pay them.

These instructions were submitted by a reader who didn't leave a name. If these are your instructions, please email me so I can give you credit on this article.

1) Create a clear, clean, point form list with the following information:

  • Account name & number
  • Plan type
  • Plan inclusions
  • Plan extras (data packs, etc.)
  • disputed amount (in dollars and MB/GB or whatever it is)

2) Gather up all your documents to support the above list, i.e original contract, the actual bill, etc.

3) On another sheet of paper write down exactly why you are disputing it (I don't have the money, I can't pay, it's ridiculous, etc. are NOT acceptable reasons). Acceptable reasons include incorrect charges, misleading information or advice, etc.

4) Write down your plan of attack, e.g email customer service, if that fails contact consumer affairs/protection, if that fails seek legal advice.

5) Type up a draft email. Include all relevant account details, the disputed amount, the reasons why you are disputing, and what resolution you seek.

Mention what step you will take if you find their response unsatisfactory. Don't threaten, inform, e.g. "I have contacted consumer affairs and pending an unacceptable response I will be pursuing the matter further." Also include the following line towards the end of your email: "I would like to continue all correspondence related to this matter via email so I have an accurate an complete record of our conversations."

6) Re-read the draft email. Do not threaten, use abusive or foul language. Get someone else to read it and give feedback. Is it polite, firm, and clear? Did you explain exactly what you are disputing and why? Words like misleading, outrageous, disgusted are all strong and evocative words, include them if applicable and appropriate.

7) Send your email to the complaints department and await a response. If they callm simply state you will not discuss the matter over the phone and all correspondence should be via email like indicated. If you have not received in 5 working days resend the email.

8) When they reply decide whether their response is

  1. acceptable and reasonable (you got what you wanted)
  2. unacceptable but reasonable (they have offered you a decent deal)
  3. unacceptable and unreasonable (they wont negotiate).

Now you have to decide whether you will take a only or a and b. Its important to decide when its worth accepting. For me there wasn't a price, but, one of my favourite sayings is it's not the point, it's the principle!

9)If you don't get a satisfactory answer, inform them of this. Explain why it's not good enough and again inform them that you are taking the matter to consumer affairs. Now lodge a complaint through your consumer affairs body and take it from there.

10) Finally, seek legal advice and pursue it. (principle!)

Keep a record of EVERYTHING (emails included). Be prepared to fight for the principle of it. You will hit a few road blocks, they are counting on you giving up. Be calm, polite and reasonable.

Many thanks to the reader who sent this helpful information.



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