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Readers Respond: Tell Your iPhone Roaming Horror Story

Responses: 90


Surprise After Trip to Cancun

My grandson says he got a text from ATT after we arrived in Cancun that he interpreted as having free text messaging just like back home. Now I have a $300+ phone bill for international texts. Did any one else ever get such a message?
—Guest Guest Steve

iPhone4 Internet roaming charges

I am a Filipino living in Indonesia. My husband's company provides spouses with a Telkom phone number. I bought an iPhone4 back in October 2010, and brought it with me to the Philippines for the holidays. I returned to Jakarta end of January and discovered that the Internet roaming charges were more than Rp 131 million ($14,800 USD), and phone calls (@ $400). My husband immediately called in the Telkom account manager and wrote a formal complaint to Telkom. Sure we used it from time to time, but we failed to turn off the roaming. Didn't know! The Internet roaming charges all came from Globe in the Philippines. My question is: Where should we be fighting the battle to dispute the charges? With Telkom or Globe? As these companies have since introduced international unlimited roaming packages for @ $45 for 3 days, could you base your dispute on the fact that these companies were negligent in not capping roaming fees based on their own newly set charges for unlimited roaming?
—Guest Maria Mahalia Gavin

Leave phones and computers at home!

We know that they are criminals, so leave all electronics at home. Use phone cards and internet cafes. Phone users should get notifications of current charges at $25, and suspend at that point, until the user buys additional usage. you cannot run up thousands of dollars on unsuspecting customers. I will not travel international for a time, and i may not renew my phone service. please pass the word to everyone.
—Guest Judith


I was allowed to run up $6,000 before my service was suspended. I did by a package for $500, and AT&T gave me a $250 credit. ADVISE: Leave your phone in the USA and use internet cafe and pay as you go local phones.
—Guest Judith

Japanese Iphone in Europe and Egypt

We arrived in Turkey and some of the emails I had already downloaded before we left japan had disappeared. I disabled airport mode and then got hit with dozens of spam SMS messages. The emails also had attachments. After a few more mail mishaps the bill came to 50000 yen for a 7 day period! No sympathy from Softbank - the Japanese 3G provider.
—Guest Dekelly

iPod roaming is designed to steal

Family going to Tahiti. We're sophisticated about roaming, as we travel a lot. Wife has new iPhone 4. Spend an hour talking with operator, find the best international data/message plan for my wife's phone. Add it. Go. Life is good. Wife tries to use the phone to get email. Won't do it, so we just use wireless at hotels and cafes. No problem, it's vacation. Gone 7 days - TWO days before we are set to come home get a text about "excessive data use and charges." Come home. Find in 7 days she's run up an extra $500 in data roaming because the phone was trying to download emails, even tho it failed to do so. What about the plan we bought? Doesn't work in Tahiti. Oh, so why did she sell it to us? Uh. Dunno. Luckily the paper trail was so clear: (I call. I buy plan. Next day international roaming charges start.) that they could not deny the screw up, although they weren't going to dump the charges at first simply 'cause the email would not download. I got my 500 back - took about 4 hours to get.


I bought my wife an iPhone to take with her when she went to Canada to see her parents on her birthday. ATT supposedly had a presence up there for her to make phone calls and for data. Too bad it wasn't a large presence. In 4 days, my wife used around 100 mb before att flagged the account for excessive international charges. I received a notice that the cost per mb was 20 per mb. I spoke to ATT and they back dated an international addon for data bringing it down to 100. My wife lost cell coverage so she texted me alot. 200 text messages cost 100 dollars even though I had 1500 text messages on my account. The data was still downloading even though all the apps were closed. After another 100 dollars, i reported the phone as lost and had the service suspended. So my bill went from 100 to 2k to 600. I still cannot believe it even though I paid it. It is cause enough for me to switch to Verizon. At least with Verizon, its at 5 dollars a mb.
—Guest Lithicus

$500+ Bill on my iPhone 4

I went to cancun for vacation w/ the whole family. Had a great time. But when I came back, the phone bill was $500+!!! I was so screwed. just because I used the Internet for 30 minutes at the airport to catch up w/ my friends.
—Guest Colin C.

iPhone Horror story

Although roaming data is off on my iPhone, and I never used my iphone for surfing outside Sunrise (Switzerland) is charging me huge amount of data, even when my iphone is not in use at all. Any call to Sunrise for clarification was not useful. Can anybody help? Iphone representative told me it was impossible that my iPhone fetch the data by itself at current settings. Indeed at the same settings my (other with Swisscom working) iphone do not make any troubles !
—Guest D.R.Kessler

Turning Off Data Roaming isn't enough

My wife is on her way to Manila. She turned off data roaming in Detroit. When she arrived in Japan she turned on her phone. As she waited for her next flight several text messages downloaded to her iphone. You must turn off text messaging if you don't want to pay for those messages!! Fortunately I was in at my local AT&T store to do so yesterday and while they mistakenly said no texts could download with DR off, today the manager said he could reimburse me for any charges resulting from that misinformation. My AT&T store is great!
—Guest JLarsgaard

one of the solution

I had a bill shock($150) from 3.too when my iphone was roaming. this is what i did to stop data roaming, upgrade your iphone to OS4, then go to Settings>General>Network> then turn off Cellular data. so, from now on, you just use the wifi. turn on the cellular data only when you want.
—Guest kish

Now I Know...

I live in Italy, use a prepaid service, and was driving through Germany, turned roaming on for six minutes to look up something online, after six minutes my internet stopped responding and I received a message from TIM saying I was out of credit. I had put 60 euro on the day before, so it cost 10 euro a minute to use the roaming data. Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM) does not have a roaming data plan at all. You would think with all the travel within the EU, they would.
—Guest C. Read

Fight back - part 3

in 5 working days resend the email. 8) When they reply decide whether their responce is a) acceptable and reasonable (you got what you wanted), b) unacceptable but reasonable (they have offered you a decent deal) c) unanceptable 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 its not the point, its the principle! 9)If you don't get a satisfactory answer inform them of this. Explain why its 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.
—Guest guest

Fight back - part 2

continued... Mention what step you will take if you find there response unsatisfactory. Dont threaten, inform e.g. I have contacted consumer affairs and pending an unacceptable responce 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 call simply state you will not discuss the matter over the phone and all correspondence should be via email like indicated. If you have received
—Guest guest

Fight back - part 1

I had similar case and successfully disputed the charges. Here's a few tips on how I did it: 1) Create a clear, clean, point form list with the following information: - Account name & number - Plan type - Plan inclusions - Plan extra's (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 dont have the money, I cant pay, its 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
—Guest guest

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Tell Your iPhone Roaming Horror Story

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