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Readers Respond: Tell Your iPhone Roaming Horror Story

Responses: 87


$60,000 bill

I have an iPad in Australia. I went to NYC for 5 weeks. Sent emails and went on the Internet. Never got a warning from the telcos. Came home to a $60,000 bill. They say I have to pay. Obscene!!
—Guest mkem

High Data Roaming Charges

Received a new iPhone 5 the day I left for an overseas biz trip & in the last day rush forgot to turn off data roam. Bill for 3 weeks = $3,700.00. I think the data roaming should be OFF when you buy a new iPhone; it is with other brands. Maybe one of the reasons Apple sales for iPhone is down 50%. [Data roaming probably should be off by default, but it's not affecting sales. In the last quarter, Apple sold 10 million _more_ iPhones than it did the year before: http://ipod.about.com/b/2013/01/24/ipod-minis-apples-amazing-financials-disappoint-market.htm -- Sam]
—Guest Just Forgot


Went to Asia and when I came back my phone stopped working! I called Fido, and they tell me that my bill was 1900 dollars. Luckily though, they brought it down to 200 by putting me into a plan. (thank god!)
—Guest Jessica

Nightmare Orange

Went to Australia on holiday in 2010 for 2 weeks. Had an iPhone 3GS. Was a lovely phone. Only used it over there for taking videos and taking pictures. Was advised not even to use it to call or go on Facebook. Was staying with friends in Perth. They gave me a laptop and pay as u go phone whilst visiting. I came home to a £4435 phone bill. Was sooo upset. I got it down to 1700 and paid 1000 pound, but would like it back. Feel sick every time I pay 100 pound off it ;(
—Guest Kate

Veizon sucks!!!!!!!!!!!

In November 2012 I went in to a Verizon retail store in California with a list of addresses and a mindset to get me and my girlfriend new phones on the 2-year contract. I gave them the addresses, one of which was in Washington roughly 2 miles away from the Canadian border. They said everything was great and we would get service when I flew up to Washington to give her the phones. I had managed to rack up 500 dollars worth of data roaming from Canada in the first night. They then shut off my data for three days until I went into a retail store and had them fix it. The lady from the international whatever office said they would take care of the bill and it wouldn’t happen again. Then just the next month I got a bill for 1100 dollars for minute roaming and so I called and talked to 20 different people in three weeks and they told me anything from "you're out of luck" to "that's stupid, I can't believe they're doing that" to "you will have to buy a new phone to make sure you don’t use minute roaming."
—Guest Jake

$24,000 and counting

My company has just received a bill for $24,000 from 3 days in New Zealand. I am from Australia... it's early days... but we are disputing with Telstra. Anyone got around this type of thing? (1GB worth...)
—Guest Lewis Price

Unreasonable amount

I applied for international roaming with Telstra as I went to NZ for holidays, came back with a whopping $21,675 bill!!! What the heck Telstra, how does that work? You didn't inform me on charges. Sent an email to consumer affairs to see if I can get some slack.
—Guest Jackson

Location Services

It's not just data you have to turn off, you have to turn off ALL your location services or the phone is continually active, for, say, pinpointing your location for a weather report or maps. It's in the directions for travelling with the iPhone/ AT&T. I went to Turkey for 3 weeks with NO unexpected bumps in my bill, just got charged for the texts and calls I did make.
—Guest Linda

O2 Rip off

You don't need to go away to be ripped off. O2 took my money even though I was set up for Wi-Fi only. Now they want £10 for me to see the data I supposedly used. I'm on pay & go so got no credit left. Anyway, why should I pay them? They say they have proof, they should show it for free. No, I'm not an idiot. My phone was turned off at night, turned on in the morning with a message saying, good news for £1 today you can have unlimited data, but they take the money there and then. Rip off.
—Guest Jan

Europe roaming

In Europe roaming charges got out of hand between countries, so the European Union has limited/capped charges and also if you spend more than about $75 in roaming they must text you and get permission to continue charging. Phone companies can be controlled!!!
—Guest Bob

unbeleivable telestra charges

I went India for two weeks and never used the cell phone. On return I get a bill from Telestra about $800 dollars. I argued but to no avail. My advice is to remove the SIM card as soon as you board the plane.
—Guest Ghulam khan

Roaming charges from Verizon

Returned from India to find that Verizon has charged me $163/- of roaming charges when we had not even turned our phone on. Even though the phone was off, Verizon listed several calls to "UNAVAILABLE" numbers. When I called Verizon, I was basically told I cannot challenge or dispute roaming charges and I need to pay these without questioning them. Have others had a similar experience with Verizon? What actions have you taken? I'm going to make a formal complaint to our state attorney general and see if we can get the charges reversed. These companies think they can pretty much get away with anything and should be stopped from fleecing customers. I would not have any issues paying for services I have consumed but should not be asked to pay for something I have not used.
—Guest Sanjay T


Data tethering global hotspot, 45 mins, $2200. Months later still fighting with Verizon. Anyone had luck suing?
—Guest S Farrar


Before you leave on your trip, make sure you call your provider & tell them when you're leaving, where you're going & when you're returning. Explain to them that you will only be using Wi-Fi & will have your data plan turned off. This way they know that you know they cannot cheat you. I travel internationally for business & I'd rather take the 10 or 15 minutes to do this than receive an outrageous bill.
—Guest Joe

Sprint worked with me

I went to France in March. I brought along my iPhone 4S and put it on airplane mode the whole time. I used Wi-Fi the whole time I was there and I had an international plan on my phone so I could talk to my mother. The bill on my phone came out to $180 (usually it's only $100) so I called them and they said that since they didn't put the international plan on my phone that I didn't have to pay the extra $80. Sprint is great and I love them.
—Guest Random girl

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