International Travel Concerns

I understand that the CS rep may have not clearly explained this, but I know for a fact that the roaming notices show on the phone (at no cost) and warn the consumer when first connecting to a foreign network and encouraging the user to contact their carrier if there are any questions.

The carriers are profiting from this but that is how companies make profits. Don't try to tell me that users are not warned about this on their devices. As a former CS rep for At&t and a mobile user who has traveled internationally on more than one occasion over the past few years, I know what I am referring to. I am not giving anyone a free pass on their responsibility; I am pointing out the reality as I see it from both sides, as a consumer and a former representative of a cellular carrier.

To paraphrase an old expression, they are giving you enough rope to hang yourself. A typical user will become equally enraged if their phone/device doesn't work internationally, despite the fact their carrier doesn't provide the network internationally or that their phone could potentially be incompatible with those networks. There are always 2 sides to the story.
Still doesn't absolve the company from allowing something that should have set off an alarm. They don't because they are scummy and it benefits them if someone just shuts up and pays. In my example, go buy a phone or add a line, and rightfully so you need to confirm identity, pass credit worthiness, etc but someone can take a phone and run up a bill that (used to be able to buy a house with) and no red flags?

Obviously T-Mobile came to their senses quickly when the local media reported on the story. As far as being "warned on the device", you and I don't know that did or did not happen. You or I don't know what plan he may have been on. We don't know because it wasn't disclosed. What was is that he got a ramrod sideload shaft of a bill that should never have happened. Quit being an apologist for this hosebag industry that operate in a consequence free realm and see reality. Cellphones aren't luxury items anymore. It's long time these puppies known as the American wireless cartels be housebroken.
 
OK, I am done with commenting on this thread. I spoke my thoughts and you did too. I can live with that. I do wish you the best and please feel free to disagree with my opinions if you want to. Have a good day and best wishes to you.
 
I agree that extra charges more than doubling the usual monthly charge should cause extraordinary warning notifications

perhaps even cutting off the service responsible and requiring the user to manually turning it back on after being shown the charges so far and an estimate of per-day costs based on the pattern so far.

But the government regulators need to require such systems from all providers

the profit motive only discourages their development otherwise.

Companies certainly are not empathetic to the needs of their users out of the goodness of their hearts.

It's got nothing to do with "morality" good vs bad, these incentive mechanisms are built into the systems we have put in place and by default of course profit seeking companies are predatory.
 
Back when I was a plan that had roaming fees, I was warned every $50. My company was paying but there is no way I didn't know how much I was spending. It was cheaper than using our ATT calling card and my largest bill was about $400. Since being on plans that included it the only issue I ever had was when what was included on my old plan was too slow. And now with WiFi calling rarely have any charges at all.
 
Companies can't self-regulate. It just doesn't work. Watch "Poisoned" on NetFlix. Same thing is wrong with our food industry. The wireless companies (all of them) operate like mafia businesses and pull crap like this, then blame the consumer for "not reading their fine print". All of our data has been compromised and they offer us "complementary credit monitoring" for one year, yet go try and buy a phone and you'll be asked for 2 forms of ID, yet this old man/long time customer goes on a trip he's taken many times before, and comes home to a luxury car phone bill for 3 weeks of overseas roaming?

With no accountability it will happen again. How many times do you think this happens on a smaller scale and victims just pay it. Consumers should not have to wade thru multi-page long EULAs and mice type to figure out what their bills will be. My electric utility makes it plain what I pay for electricity, my water utility does the same thing: one single page shows me usage, what I pay per KW/Hr or gallon, and there is a gov board to escalate to with mandatory response times and resolutions if things go wrong.

The wireless companies need to be held to the same standards. They are in fact, more of a utility today in 2024 but they operate like it's 2004 and phones were just "luxury items". That is not the case anymore. They certainly play the "utility" card when acquiring sites claiming they are a viable "public" service as people can't live without clutching their phones 24/7.
 
Last edited:
It seems to me an easily implemented solution would be to require prior to activating roaming, a user would need to set a spending limit they authorize before suspension of service occurs.
 
I can only comment on how At&t handled international roaming when I was a rep there. When I started out there in 2001 (with Cingular), roaming was strictly limited and certain credit checks used to be required to allow it. I can't remember how it was determined but I think it was based on the average monthly revenue, and CS had to confirm before international roaming with the phone was allowed. Back then, there was no free intl. roaming in Canada or Mexico for example. If a customer did not qualify, there was a deposit required of at least $100 and if the user had charges pending above that, they had to make an additional deposit to continue using the phone.

I can't remember why or when the policy was changed but I suspect it was to keep up with the other providers who first removed such restrictions. Of course, back then, cellular data was almost non-existent like today (unless it was for MMS sending and receiving) and the majority of charges were related to voice usage while roaming internationally.
 
In my T-Mobile online account and app, there's a place to disallow data roaming charges, which I've always enabled on all of my T-Mobile data only plans. Is there also such a setting for traditional T-Mobile voice plans? If yes, I'd highly suggest turning that on!
 
I believe it's 13 countries: Canada and Mexico, plus 11 European countries.
I have used it many times in Canada and Mexico without issues. Similarly, I used my One plan in Europe (Germany, Italy - Rome+Venice, Slovenia - Koper, Croatia - Split+Dubrovnik, Greece - Corfu+Mt. Olympus, Malta.
I didn't make any calls, and data was somewhat usable (google maps) at 128-200kbps.
 
I can only comment on how At&t handled international roaming when I was a rep there. When I started out there in 2001 (with Cingular), roaming was strictly limited and certain credit checks used to be required to allow it. I can't remember how it was determined but I think it was based on the average monthly revenue, and CS had to confirm before international roaming with the phone was allowed. Back then, there was no free intl. roaming in Canada or Mexico for example. If a customer did not qualify, there was a deposit required of at least $100 and if the user had charges pending above that, they had to make an additional deposit to continue using the phone.

I can't remember why or when the policy was changed but I suspect it was to keep up with the other providers who first removed such restrictions. Of course, back then, cellular data was almost non-existent like today (unless it was for MMS sending and receiving) and the majority of charges were related to voice usage while roaming internationally.
I had AT&T before 2015, and added Canada calling discounted rates ... It still cost me a bit (had many calls to make), When I returned and saw that T-Mobile started in to include Canada calling in its packages, and data usage.. and the service cost less, I ported. Soon afterwards, T-Mobile's rates included both voice and data roaming in Canada and, then with the One package, increased speeds.
AT&T followed suit, but too little, too late, and still more expensive.
 
I have used it many times in Canada and Mexico without issues. Similarly, I used my One plan in Europe (Germany, Italy - Rome+Venice, Slovenia - Koper, Croatia - Split+Dubrovnik, Greece - Corfu+Mt. Olympus, Malta.
I didn't make any calls, and data was somewhat usable (google maps) at 128-200kbps.
If you look at the quote in the post of mine you quoted, I was referring to the 5GB/mo of high-speed data included with certain T-Mobile plans.

Specifically:
Canada, Mexico, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Greece

Of course, most T-Mobile plans also include either "up to" 128 Kbps OR 256 Kbps in ~215 countries, plus texting.
 
Note: I used this back in ~2018. Data rates in Europe were not as they are today. I.e. I had 'slow' use in Germany/Greece, and the other countries that I visited. Canada/Mexico have the benefit of calling included.
 
In my T-Mobile online account and app, there's a place to disallow data roaming charges, which I've always enabled on all of my T-Mobile data only plans. Is there also such a setting for traditional T-Mobile voice plans? If yes, I'd highly suggest turning that on!
This right here, in the app you go to profile settings and turn on "block charged international roaming" and you should be good to go. use wifi calling to call back to US, turn off wifi if you need to call somebody local to the country you are visiting.
 
The 256K "slow" data speed has been fast enuf to drive in every country we've driven in (about) using Google maps.
 
The 256K "slow" data speed has been fast enuf to drive in every country we've driven in (about) using Google maps.
It's also good enough to use for Google Voice VoIP calls. Actually, when I had an older plan, 128Kbps was also good enough.
 
Back
Top