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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Rip-off Roaming Charges
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08/03/2010 06:04:48 PM · #1
I was on holiday last month in Croatia. Took a few snapshots on my mobile phone and uploaded them to facebook, I also emailed them from the phone to a few family members. We're talking 5-6 photos, 4-5Mb each.

And therein lies the problem. I checked my mobile bill today.... 320

It appears if you go over 3Mb data transfer when roaming, they put you into the '3-50Mb/day' bracket, and charge you 25. So, all it takes is one photo a day for 5 or 6 days, and you're up to 150

I phoned customer 'care' and it sounded like they're used to hearing these bill-shock stories. I argued that for 320 I could have bought a netbook and broadband stick, used it to upload my photos, and thrown it in the bin on the way home.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who's been caught out by this!
08/03/2010 06:22:19 PM · #2
I've never experienced anything that bad, but when I've been shocked by overage charges and call customer care, they have always been at least somewhat helpful in reducing the charges. I hope you find similar success!
08/03/2010 07:01:23 PM · #3
I went to Toronto for a long weekend and made a few calls fairly short calls within Canada and back to the states...$600
08/03/2010 07:03:43 PM · #4
Aah the joys of Kapitalzm!:)
08/03/2010 08:18:41 PM · #5
Originally posted by frisca:

I've never experienced anything that bad, but when I've been shocked by overage charges and call customer care, they have always been at least somewhat helpful in reducing the charges. I hope you find similar success!


I worked in customer service for a cell company in a past life and I'll tell you it will be next to impossible to get roaming charges reduced. The reason is this is money sent on to the company that you were running on so any credit would be a true loss of cash rather than "virtual cash" as would be the case for crediting charges on your own system.
08/03/2010 08:31:01 PM · #6
Well as they say: e pluribus unum... no wait it`s, it`s hmmmmmmmmmmm oh yeah Caveat Emptor.

I do feel for you, but this is one of them things that you really ought to have checked with your service provider prior to going on your trip.

Like the good Doc said, you can always plead your case with the company you deal with, but your chances of having the charges reduced are probably very small.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained... so you might as well try.

Ray
08/03/2010 08:38:04 PM · #7
i went to Saint Thomas for a week and incurred about $400 worth of roaming. i called ATT and said im not paying since i thought it was in the calling area. since it would be cheaper to pay the cancellation penalty than the roaming charges i told them to cancel my account.

they waived the fees.
08/03/2010 08:55:58 PM · #8
Originally posted by mike_311:

i went to Saint Thomas for a week and incurred about $400 worth of roaming. i called ATT and said im not paying since i thought it was in the calling area. since it would be cheaper to pay the cancellation penalty than the roaming charges i told them to cancel my account.

they waived the fees.


Smart play. This is the type of thing that folks who get stuck with really outrageous fees should do. Let 'em know that if those are their rules, you'll take your money elsewhere. If enough people do it, they will listen.
Note that I'm not advocating trying to skate out on a legitimate bill, but some of these "gotcha" clauses and associated fees are outright robbery.

ETA: It would be interesting to see who the carriers are for more of the posted cases here. These companies need to be *publicly* flogged :-)

Message edited by author 2010-08-03 20:57:33.
08/04/2010 04:51:42 AM · #9
A bit more background to explain why I feel hard-done-by in this instance.

I changed mobile phone provider in March. I was with the old company for a number of years, and on previous trips to Croatia I'd uploaded photos and accessed email and the bill was never more than about 80.

However, it seems my new provider isn't including Croatia as part of the EU, it's applying the same rates as if I was in the US/Asia. Strictly speaking, Croatia is a 'candidate country' for EU.

On the 1st of July some laws passed by the EU Parliament came into force. This puts a cap on data roaming of 50/month for EU countries. So if you're data roaming abroad, and your spend goes over 50 in the month, you have to call your provider to release the cap (horror stories of bills for 10,000 after watching TV shows on streaming video)

My old provider includes Croatia in the capped countries list - My new provider doesn't. So I had no idea what sort of bill I was racking up.

I did phone customer care and asked them to review it, but I don't think I'll get anywhere. If I want to break my contract and move back to my old provider it'll cost me 143 - So I can't win.

The most expensive snapshots I've ever taken in my life...!
08/05/2010 05:14:11 AM · #10
Originally posted by mike_311:

i went to Saint Thomas for a week and incurred about $400 worth of roaming. i called ATT and said im not paying since i thought it was in the calling area. since it would be cheaper to pay the cancellation penalty than the roaming charges i told them to cancel my account.

they waived the fees.


Even if you had canceled, wouldn't you be required to still pay your existing bill?
08/05/2010 06:27:40 AM · #11
A story I have heard so often and whilst I agree it is a rip-off it is down to you to check before you go. When I go abroad I always get a text message from my provider when I arrive in-country warning about roaming charges for data and what the cost per mb would be. A lot of people dont realise that if someone calls you whilst you are abroad you have to pay for the incoming call not the person calling you (well that is how it works with UK mobile providers).

08/05/2010 06:33:21 AM · #12
Originally posted by Sevlow:

A story I have heard so often and whilst I agree it is a rip-off it is down to you to check before you go.

I was caught out by a few things and got lazy - The main one being that my old provider treated Croatia as part of the EU, my new one didn't (and charged double the rate for data roaming).

I was also lulled into a false sense of security by exactly these 'warning' SMS's you're talking about. They sent me one when I'd spent 40 over plan, and 50 over plan. But apparently it stops there.

Would have been handy to get a text telling me I'd spent 300 over plan...
08/05/2010 07:18:25 AM · #13
Originally posted by aliqui:

Originally posted by mike_311:



Even if you had canceled, wouldn't you be required to still pay your existing bill?


maybe, but they wouldn't be getting any future money from me, and considering i was early on a contract renewal, they figured it was better for them.

this was 7 years ago and i am still with them. they they made the right call.
08/05/2010 07:30:00 AM · #14
Wait, what do you mean 1 photo a day? looking at one? uploading one, what?

Because, i hope its uploading, otherwise my bill will be sky high :|

Oh wait, mines 500mb, that will do me good right? i hope... aha..

Message edited by author 2010-08-05 07:30:43.
08/05/2010 08:12:13 AM · #15
Originally posted by hojop25:

Wait, what do you mean 1 photo a day? looking at one? uploading one, what?

Uploading one photo a day to facebook.

One photo is over 3Mb which puts me into the 3-50Mb/day bracket, which costs 30

The bizarre thing is if I'd uploaded all the photos in the same day it'd still have cost me 30, as that would cover me for up to 50Mb/day. It was hitting the 3Mb limit on separate days which hammered me.
08/05/2010 02:28:09 PM · #16
I worked for Tmobile customer care (as recently as 8 months ago) and roaming charges get charged to Tmobile... they dont make profit off of them which is why they rarely credit any back....

Im sorry that its happened to you :(


08/05/2010 02:29:26 PM · #17
Originally posted by JH:

Originally posted by hojop25:

Wait, what do you mean 1 photo a day? looking at one? uploading one, what?

Uploading one photo a day to facebook.

One photo is over 3Mb which puts me into the 3-50Mb/day bracket, which costs 30

The bizarre thing is if I'd uploaded all the photos in the same day it'd still have cost me 30, as that would cover me for up to 50Mb/day. It was hitting the 3Mb limit on separate days which hammered me.


ahh thats ridiculous...
08/05/2010 02:37:28 PM · #18
Originally posted by JustCaree:

I worked for Tmobile customer care (as recently as 8 months ago) and roaming charges get charged to Tmobile... they dont make profit off of them which is why they rarely credit any back....

Im sorry that its happened to you :(


Do you actually believe that 320 euros is what was charged by the foreign carrier to the local carrier?
08/06/2010 05:33:07 AM · #19
Okay, after a few days of back-and-forth with customer care, they've agreed to credit me back 120. Sometimes it pays to be nice to customer service guys during calls.

They also told me about an 'unadvertised' data roaming add-on which would have given me 50Mb/month for 50, regardless of which country I was in.

I wonder why they're not advertising it? - Probably because they're making more money from ad-hoc daily data roaming charges...

Message edited by author 2010-08-06 05:33:26.
08/06/2010 12:12:18 PM · #20
Originally posted by JH:

However, it seems my new provider isn't including Croatia as part of the EU, it's applying the same rates as if I was in the US/Asia. Strictly speaking, Croatia is a 'candidate country' for EU.


I went to California earlier this year and was charged out-of-country roaming fees. Granted, I did poorly in Geography but I'm fairly certain CA is one of the fifty nifty. Perhaps it's a 'candidate state' for the US? (I think I was picking up a tower from Mexico.)
08/06/2010 12:38:55 PM · #21
Nice to hear you got some back. It does pay to listen to the saying about attracting more flies with honey than vinegar.
08/06/2010 04:17:12 PM · #22
Originally posted by photodude:

Originally posted by JustCaree:

I worked for Tmobile customer care (as recently as 8 months ago) and roaming charges get charged to Tmobile... they dont make profit off of them which is why they rarely credit any back....

Im sorry that its happened to you :(


Do you actually believe that 320 euros is what was charged by the foreign carrier to the local carrier?


I didnt say all of it but a large part yes. We make like 12% profit off of Roaming... its not much
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