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Readers Respond: Tell Your iPhone Roaming Horror Story

Responses: 61


We've all heard horror stories about people getting hit with huge cell phone bills they weren't expecting. Tales of US$10,000 monthly bills aren't uncommon. Has this happened to you? Whether your bill was $10,000 or $100, tell your story here.

Ripped of in Caanda by ATT

Son used iPhone Data and I have a $12k Bill, Unbelievable
—Guest New Yorker


On Friday 22nd of Aug 2014, there was warning I was running low on credit from my BBM. Topped up with 20 B.Pounds,at 07.33, 5 B.Pounds was taken from my credit and @0758 another, the same day another 5 B.Pounds was taken from my account.@ 17.04 same day, another 5 ponds was taken with notification. At 17.42, I topped up with additional 40 B.Pounds. In order to avoid further deductions from my account, I switched off my Blackberry completely. I was surprised for all these deduction because I only checked my e-mail and replied to important mails and nothing else. I hope my money will be refunded as soon as possible. This can be verified; my BBM number is +447570854248. This is unfair deductions, I warn others not to fall into the same trap.
—Guest richard shonibare

Is it iPhone/Service Provider's mistake?

I got charged 600 Singapore Dollars, while I visited Indonesia with data roaming switched off. Overnight there was many application which calls for an update unexpectedly. Why this happens, I have no idea. (App developer, ripping off data usage and claiming back from Telco or getting some reputation from them, I have no idea.). This is what happened. My question is, why the hell the service provider allows data roaming to happen when iPhone has that option "OFF". Is this iPhone issues, or Telco issues? I have no idea. The solution for this shall be the Service providers need to have a briefing session for all smartphone users.
—Guest Ramesh

Gadgets come with great responsibilty

With great gadget, comes great responsibility. This is exactly what it’s all about. IPhone users and even the Android phone users have the opportunity to enrich their lives by using their phones’ capabilities. By downloading, installing and using phone apps, the users are expected to increase their efficiency when it comes to work, social and personal lives. However, these smartphones require that their owners must be knowledgeable and responsible enough in using the phone’s capabilities, otherwise they would end up having serious problems, like a ridiculously high data charge, without knowing how and why the problem came up. Other problems that unaware and not-too-responsible owners could face are issues that have something to do with privacy since some apps requires access to your social accounts’ profile information to function. The technology of the devices we are using will keep on improving, that’s inevitable. Using them wisely is our responsibility.
—Guest K. Lofamia

Now ur the bafoon!

ATT charges $20 per megabit international "data roaming"? But they claim its off by default. In the states if you have a US data plan you don't need it on right? So, why would we need to turn it off living in the US? Hmm, think before you speak out your bunghole. So, to the idiots "Amazed" and "Your Negligence," how stupid do feel now!
—Guest Question their integrity

Proactive is not negligence

My partner just left the States for work overseas for 20 days. I made sure that his line had a world calling plan for cheaper rates, international texting plan, and added the highest inter. data plan. In 24 hours they said he used over 1000 MB, of which the plan covered 800. I asked them what can we do, he is on business for another 19 days. They said dispute the bill when it comes! I said how can you not offer a real business plan for people who travel overseas, or at least unlock the phone so we can use our UK plan? AT&T is a joke. This is just why BlackBerry was the business phone of choice. I said we just took a trip and I was charged for over 800 MB of usage but I reset my phone to show cellular usage while we were gone and it said I used only 40 MB. How can the phone be so off? Something is really wrong with their data usage figures. I guess some of you have no idea what traveling on business means. It means you can't just shut off your phone!!
—Guest Daniel

Stupido from Australia

I had just upgraded to an iPhone - I went overseas. I have tinnitus - so I was happy to see that there was a radio app on my phone. I just used it of a night to help me get to sleep - the noise of the radio cancels out some of the ringing from the tinnitus. Cost me $37,000 for 2 weeks. After feeling massively sick - crying was the next best option.
—Guest STUPIDO from Australia


Traveled to Europe with data disabled. Accessed Wi-Fi only in free areas for 8 days. Returned to Australia to discover $1500+ charge on my bill which is usually $80-85 per month. Still negotiating with Virgin Mobile over this one. Thoroughly happy with iPhone and Virgin to date, but unless this matter is reolved satisfactorily I will be binning both!
—Guest Bill

Roaming With Data Shut OFF!!!

I don't care what the "self proclaimed" iPhone *Connoisseurs* out there say, but the iPhone SUCKS! I was lucky my bill wasn't that high (now that I've seen the $70,000.00 or even $1,000.00) but still paying €150.00 (Euros) for something I didn't even use is THEFT! These companies should be held accountable for not providing a *fool*proof data disabling button that is effective! How can your bill run up while your phone AND DATA are turned off??? I gave away my iPhone because it kept on sucking money and it wasn't at all pleasant an experience. It's not like it's the only phone out there. This hasn't even once happened with my Blackberry!!! Which is why I suspect this problem is only with the iPhone. The most expensive phone and worst at the same time! Apple is never seeing any of my money! Alright I admit I still like their iPod. I'm more for the 2nd generation Classic though.
—Guest Superior

These are all reasons

...why average people shouldn't be allowed to have phones. To the people who say "those saying turn off your data must work for phone companies" - yes, some of us probably do. We know that if you're outside of your network, you'll pay through the nose if you use data. We know that we have to turn data right off. We know we have to shut our network off, because you WILL pay for every text you get while you're roaming. Not understanding or comprehending the way the system works doesn't mean their rules shouldn't apply to you. "I guess it's not such a smartphone after all", that's like blaming the car for a drunk driver having an accident. Really, it's a classic case of survival of the fittest. There are a LOT of unfit phone users out there, and I have no sympathy for any of you. Learn to use your phone, or don't travel, or just plain don't have a phone.
—Guest Steve

Horror Experience Bill amount 70,000 USD

Hello Guys -- I am from Kuwait. I went to India last month on my holidays. My data roaming was on, but I was not using internet as I had my own local blackberry. After 4 days, I got a call from my service provider stating that they are disconnecting my line as bill amount has reached more than $50,000 USD. I was shocked and I asked them why were they waiting till now? How come it has reached to that amount? It was the shock of my life. I wrote an email to my Company, as it was my company line and raised a dispute with the service provider. So far we got only one report from service provider claiming that I used 4 GB data in 3 days, which is not possible at all. The case is still in dispute and I hope to have some justice on that. I think there was some iPhone bug. I am still not sure, neither is the service provider.
—Guest Sumit


3 company ripped my international roaming for a few days for more than $1600. I need to log a complaint. Can anybody give me some tips for how to defend in this case?
—Guest Leigh

Data Roaming

Whilst it is not a phone companies responsibility to "hold your hand," it is their responsibility to set realistic credit limits for their customers.
—Guest Meg

To the ones calling us stupid!

I went to Singapore and TURNED OFF international roaming and I was still charged for data I didn't use, it was a "technical glitch" and nothing they can do about it! I bet you work for phone companies ripping us off!
—Guest Ks

data usage cost more the trip to Bali

I went over to Bali in late September/early October. I was not informed probably about data roaming. While in Bali my iPhone kept on screeching and you couldn't make phone calls or even receive phone calls. While in Bali I did ring Telstra, only to be told there was a error in the system (after 16 mins on hold and $118 later). When back in Aus, I received a bill with $4,508.20 worth of data charges. After at least 10 phone calls and a complaint to telecommunications ombudsman, Telstra credited my data usages.
—Guest Kylie

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