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View Full Version : Going for Broke with Roaming Data Charges


Mike Temporale
05-09-2007, 03:00 PM
A lot of us have unlimited data and may not think twice about using data while you're outside of your coverage zone. I have been using a $50 unlimited data plan on Fido (http://www.fido.ca) for 3 years now. When I first started to travel to the US, I called Fido and they confirmed that there was no roaming data charge for my plan. Well, it appears that something has changed because back in March I spent 6 days in Seattle and used a whole 3MB of data. I was shocked to get a bill for $165 for roaming data. Those 3 little megabytes cost me $165 and a huge pain in the neck. It's not that I have to call and complain, it's that I'm always going to be worried about the next bill and how much that could end up being.

Due to this roaming data issue, I picked up a Cingular pay as you go SIM on my recent trip to California. It wasn't as nice as having unlimited access at my finger tips, but $25 for a week is much better than $165. ;)

I'm curious to know who has had the largest charge on their phone bill for data usage. Share you horror stories and let's see if Canada really has the worst carriers. :lol:

onlydarksets
05-09-2007, 03:28 PM
My horror story is that my EVDO 700 kilobyte plan costs more than my FiOS 15 megabyte plan. However, I don't think that is what you meant. ;)

srsabu
05-09-2007, 07:15 PM
Does the pay as you go SIM support tethering for Data? I don't currently have a data plan on my phone, as the only time I'm wanting net access without being near a laptop and access point is the 3 or 4 times a year I visit the relatives who are still in the dark ages (no computer, so no need for broadband). For those times, it would be nice to have a way to enable access for the laptop through the phone.

I don't want to enable the on-demand access for my normal plan as I've had apps try to connect to network resources when I wasn't expecting them to. I was able to kill them before they ran up too much of a bill ($0.50 or so), but I prefer to keep it blocked. Having a set value SIM would keep an upper bound on the expense as well, cutting me off when my time was up.

Rocco Augusto
05-09-2007, 08:27 PM
Due to this roaming data issue, I picked up a Cingular pay as you go SIM on my recent trip to California. It wasn't as nice as having unlimited access at my finger tips, but $25 for a week is much better than $165. ;)

I thought we talked about this when you went to Boston?! You need a pre-paid SIM when you come to the states! ;)

***really long quote trimmed by mod JD***

Jason Dunn
05-09-2007, 10:29 PM
The data roaming prices these companies charge are practically *criminal*. :evil:

SteveHoward999
05-10-2007, 12:13 AM
The data roaming prices these companies charge are practically *criminal*. :evil:

No. They **are** criminal. From $10 per Mb up!

Anyway, my biggest data bill was when I was still in the UK. I was able to use my old Nokia 6100 (actually might have been 6210i ... I don't remember these model number too well!!) as a MODEM for my laptop via Infra Red. My then girlfriend (now my wife) was in the US while I was working for a week in London. We'd chat on Messenger and surf for hours in those days.

Charges were so many pence per minute, so 4 evenings of constant connection later, I got a bill for over 250 - about $500 today, maybe more like $400 then.

OUCH!

Mike Temporale
05-10-2007, 02:25 AM
I got a bill for over 250 - about $500 today, maybe more like $400 then.

OUCH!

Thanks, I don't feel as bad now. :lol: That hurts.

Mike Temporale
05-10-2007, 02:28 AM
I thought we talked about this when you went to Boston?! You need a pre-paid SIM when you come to the states! ;)

We did, and I did. You see, that was for my wife. My phone would just be minutes roaming. I never paid a penny for roaming data in Boston or any of my other previous US trips. Roaming on minutes isn't that bad, and I don't tend to use a lot of minutes, so I never cared about mine.

So how long do I have before I lose this number on the Pay as you Go card - 3 months?

Rocco Augusto
05-10-2007, 04:13 AM
the number usually expires 90 days after you run out of minutes or your number expires. at least it did when i workd there :)

esc76
05-10-2007, 04:17 AM
My horror story...


http://www.smartphonethoughts.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12511&highlight=

$207 smackaroons

Mike Temporale
05-10-2007, 04:23 AM
cool, so the money is good for a month, and then I have 3 more months until I lose the number. That means.... I have to return to the US before the end of August if I want to keep this number. 8)

djdj
05-10-2007, 06:12 PM
$296 for a single month.

I use T-Mobile and had had the T-Mobile VPN data plan for quite some time when I changed the amount of minutes my base voice plan a couple years ago, and apparently when the CS representative changed the voice plan they dropped all of the optional features from my plan. So I ran up a $296 data charge for a month, and about $30 in text messaging charges. They really really didn't want to drop the charges, stating that the CS rep told me when I changed plans that all optional features would be dropped, but I asked to talk to a manager I was able to get the charges dropped because I had been a customer paying $150/mo for 7 years.

nic.wise
05-11-2007, 08:00 PM
Biggest I've seen was my boss at work - $5000 NZ for 2 weeks in Russia. We had no phones available, some large issues (and hence lots of calls), and he's on a crackberry, and it was basicly constantly going off.

$10/min incoming and outgoing calls (normally around 25c if you are in NZ - maybe $2 anywhere else in the world)
$30/meg data (normally free in NZ for him, usually around $2/meg otherwise)

a number of 30-60 min calls. a very active crackberry.

(thats $NZ, so about $3500 US)

Mine over the same period - NO data, just texts and 1-2 calls - $350 NZ. That was bad enough (tho work paid for all of them)

Roaming from New Zealand to anywhere hurts. Data is always $30/meg, calls are 2-10$/min (incoming OR outgoing), and none of your free mins / free data count.

So, I have a US SIM card (cingular). after 3 months, the $'s expire, but I think I can keep the number....

Mike Temporale
05-13-2007, 02:57 AM
OUCH! That really hurts. I don't feel so bad hearing that. ;)

karen
05-14-2007, 06:59 PM
I believe what all the Canadian phone companies are charging is unethical and immoral for travelling 15 minutes across the border. I'm in the States about 2 weeks a month. I regularly rack up $200-400 in roaming charges just to download the headers of my e-mail.

I used to have a North American voice plan that wasn't too bad - about $80 a month for enough minutes, and they were all "local" calls.

But for some reason, none of the Canadian telecommunications companies have people smart enough to figure out how to set up a roaming plan for data. It's all data, as far as I'm concerned, but they can't (or don't want to) provide roaming services. One CSR told me that they had no motiviation to do that because they wouldn't be making any money on it, at least not at the rates they do at $10/MB.

What I need to do is buy a separate phone, pay a monthly data charge to some US company. It would be way cheaper than paying Telus for the same amount of usage. No SIM Card to do it on my Telus phone.

What a waste, too.

But I guess it's ok to gouge your business customers when you also offer an "unlimited data" plan that caps that off at 50 MB per month.