Charged $833,00 for data transfer while on cruise in Canada. Never made or received calls while there.only used cell phone for flashlight or camera.

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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,911
7,796
113
San Francisco
#4
My colleagues are no doubt correct. You will need to do some "artful begging" to get ATT to reverse this outrageous charge. I've heard about this cell phone foolishness where apps on the phone are out looking for data on their own, which is why I never turn the thing on when travelling unless I need to make a call. My NY's resolution is to learn all about my phone so I can enjoy some of the benefits other than texts and voice without nasty surprises like yours.

Compose a polite, concise email to ATT and ask them to give you a break here. Be very nice, very appreciative ... very patient and very persistent. Use our Company Contacts and submit your email to one executive at a time, waiting a week between. Good luck and please let us know the outcome.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#5
wow Almost $900 — it is true that various apps refresh — location, maps, Facebook,email, all keep refreshing and grabbing data even without actively using them. Airplane mode cuts off both cellular voice and data while data roaming cuts off data.

At this point the others are correct — a nice polite email is the only way to have a positive resolution.
 
May 26, 2018
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#6
Our former marketing agency is in Detroit. Accordingly, I would make frequent trips there and sometimes I stayed in a hotel just north of the Detroit River. Quite often I would get the message "Welcome Abroad" (sic) from the Canadian cell phone provider on the other side of the river. I would then immeditely put my phone on airplane mode until I moved farther away from the border. I have a friend in Canada who told me that Canadians don't generally have the great deals we have on data and unlimited calls, etc.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Oct 4, 2018
7
6
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#7
My husband and I traveled out of the country a few years back and, on the next to the last day, our camera broke so my husband used his cell phone to take pictures. We knew better than to call, email, text or use any apps and did not open anything. We simply turned the phone on and used the camera. We were quite shocked when we returned to charges of $800+. Apparently, when you turn the phone on, it automatically searches out emails. My husband's company had sent him several large schematics, and although he never even went to his email, the phone still downloaded them from the cloud. Verizon refused to budge! Phones should be set up so that you have to turn something on or off if you want to use your phone out of the country. Instead, they are set up that you have to turn something on or off if you don't want to be charged, but if you don't know to do that... It's a total racket.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,404
1,374
113
Maui Hawaii
#8
My daughter had a similar event this summer with Verizon. She ran up $600+, they cut it to $300.
Email ATT cust serv and ask for a break. You, unfortunately, got hit with cruise access prices which are much more than land-based access costs in Canada.

Email weekly starting with the first cust serv, escalating weekly if no/negative response. https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/att/

Admit you should have turned off your data and should have used airplane mode and wi-fi. There are plans with ATT for less expensive access while abroad but they only apply on land. On a ship, you are using satellite access.
 
Likes: jsn55

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,032
15,548
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#9
AT&T has a great international plan for $10 a day. If you don’t use it you aren’t charged.

We always advise our clients to call their internet provider before they leave to learn about using their phone when traveling and what costs will be. When you do that, the rep. on the phone usually tells you to use airplane mode or turn data and or roaming off.

If everyone did this before traveling you have a less of a chance of something happening like this.
 
Sep 6, 2015
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#10
AT&T has a great international plan for $10 a day. If you don’t use it you aren’t charged.

We always advise our clients to call their internet provider before they leave to learn about using their phone when traveling and what costs will be. When you do that, the rep. on the phone usually tells you to use airplane mode or turn data and or roaming off.

If everyone did this before traveling you have a less of a chance of something happening like this.
 
Sep 6, 2015
297
316
63
#11
Neil, I don’t know what AT&T package you are referring to because they usually charge us $60 for what is, in theory, good for a month’s worth of data abroad. I. Have used it within a week when I ran into problems using my GPS.

We keep data roaming turned off at all times, and when traveling out of the country, turn it on when needed and immediately shut it off again.

We stayed in Vancouver for two nights before an Alaskan cruise this summer. My husband checked with AT&T before we left and was told we had coverage for Canada and Mexico as part of our normal service. Fortunately, my husband takes prolific notes during those conversations because we came home to a bill for our usage in Canada (around $250 for two days of minimal usage). Because he had a record of the conversation, AT&T reversed the charges.

I have seen several posts regarding using unlocked cell phones with a local SIM card instead of packages on our existing phones. I have an old flip phone and may keep my current iPhone when I upgrade in a few months. Is one better than the other to use for travel outside of the country? I don’t even know how to change the SIM card in an iPhone. The other, a Motorola Krazer (one of my favorites) is fairly easy to use, however my husband has doubts that a) it will work and b) that it will save us money. Any suggestions on how to go about this? I’m tired of paying $80 (even more if we travel together) for access to a phone outside of the US.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,032
15,548
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#12
We used to have that package but AT&T discontinued it in our area about a year and a half ago.

We have to have a phone available when traveling for our clients. The $10 a day allows me to forget about turning things on and off. Perhaps AT and T doesn’t offer that package in all areas but it’s the one we now have.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,404
1,374
113
Maui Hawaii
#13
Neil, I don’t know what AT&T package you are referring to because they usually charge us $60 for what is, in theory, good for a month’s worth of data abroad. I. Have used it within a week when I ran into problems using my GPS.

We keep data roaming turned off at all times, and when traveling out of the country, turn it on when needed and immediately shut it off again.

We stayed in Vancouver for two nights before an Alaskan cruise this summer. My husband checked with AT&T before we left and was told we had coverage for Canada and Mexico as part of our normal service. Fortunately, my husband takes prolific notes during those conversations because we came home to a bill for our usage in Canada (around $250 for two days of minimal usage). Because he had a record of the conversation, AT&T reversed the charges.

I have seen several posts regarding using unlocked cell phones with a local SIM card instead of packages on our existing phones. I have an old flip phone and may keep my current iPhone when I upgrade in a few months. Is one better than the other to use for travel outside of the country? I don’t even know how to change the SIM card in an iPhone. The other, a Motorola Krazer (one of my favorites) is fairly easy to use, however my husband has doubts that a) it will work and b) that it will save us money. Any suggestions on how to go about this? I’m tired of paying $80 (even more if we travel together) for access to a phone outside of the US.
ATT
International Day Pass
  • $10 per device, per day used.
  • Talk: Unlimited
  • Text: Unlimited
  • Data: Use the data in your plan
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,404
1,374
113
Maui Hawaii
#14
Neil, I don’t know what AT&T package you are referring to because they usually charge us $60 for what is, in theory, good for a month’s worth of data abroad. I. Have used it within a week when I ran into problems using my GPS.

We keep data roaming turned off at all times, and when traveling out of the country, turn it on when needed and immediately shut it off again.

We stayed in Vancouver for two nights before an Alaskan cruise this summer. My husband checked with AT&T before we left and was told we had coverage for Canada and Mexico as part of our normal service. Fortunately, my husband takes prolific notes during those conversations because we came home to a bill for our usage in Canada (around $250 for two days of minimal usage). Because he had a record of the conversation, AT&T reversed the charges.

I have seen several posts regarding using unlocked cell phones with a local SIM card instead of packages on our existing phones. I have an old flip phone and may keep my current iPhone when I upgrade in a few months. Is one better than the other to use for travel outside of the country? I don’t even know how to change the SIM card in an iPhone. The other, a Motorola Krazer (one of my favorites) is fairly easy to use, however my husband has doubts that a) it will work and b) that it will save us money. Any suggestions on how to go about this? I’m tired of paying $80 (even more if we travel together) for access to a phone outside of the US.
You can google the specs on your old flip phone to see if it is compatible with foreign networks. Any phone you take abroad needs to be unlocked first. Otherwise, it is linked only to your current cell provider. Once the phone is unlocked you can take it with you and go to a kiosk at many foreign airports or to a local office in town and they will install the SIM cards for you. You can take both of your phones and have them try a SIM card in each to see if it will work. We did this in NZ a year ago, taking three unlocked phones, and found two worked and one did not. So we still had two phones to communicate with each other on the NZ Vodafone network. It cost ~$30-40 per phone for a month of use.

When you upgrade your phone you may wish to get one that is unlocked when you buy it. You can do this by buying the phone from the manufacturer unlocked, rather than buying the phone from the cell provider. We bought two phones directly from Samsung that were factory unlocked, and were cheaper than the identical phone from ATT. We currently travel with an old flip phone and two Samsung smartphones, all unlocked.

If you take an old flip phone it is a good idea to get a new battery before traveling and make sure everything works. A battery for an older flip phone often costs under $10.
 
Likes: Tricia K.
Sep 1, 2018
2
0
1
57
#15
ATT
International Day Pass
  • $10 per device, per day used.
  • Talk: Unlimited
  • Text: Unlimited
  • Data: Use the data in your plan
I believe that there is approximately 25% taxes and fees on the $10 per day fee. I recommend calling AT&T to verify the true cost.
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
985
1,587
93
45
#16
I use the AT&T international day pass all the time... its great. Saves me from phone bills like this (happened once)

One note for everyone to help keep this from happening to you. If you go into your phone's settings, you should be able to turn off data roaming. It will help protect you from that one time you may forget or in situations like @Deacon Bob your phone grabs a non-network tower.

At this point, I would email and attempt to negotiate either a lower payment or a payment over time. Your phone did grab data. They all do in the back ground.

Good luck!
 
Sep 6, 2015
297
316
63
#17
You can google the specs on your old flip phone to see if it is compatible with foreign networks. Any phone you take abroad needs to be unlocked first. Otherwise, it is linked only to your current cell provider. Once the phone is unlocked you can take it with you and go to a kiosk at many foreign airports or to a local office in town and they will install the SIM cards for you. You can take both of your phones and have them try a SIM card in each to see if it will work. We did this in NZ a year ago, taking three unlocked phones, and found two worked and one did not. So we still had two phones to communicate with each other on the NZ Vodafone network. It cost ~$30-40 per phone for a month of use.

When you upgrade your phone you may wish to get one that is unlocked when you buy it. You can do this by buying the phone from the manufacturer unlocked, rather than buying the phone from the cell provider. We bought two phones directly from Samsung that were factory unlocked, and were cheaper than the identical phone from ATT. We currently travel with an old flip phone and two Samsung smartphones, all unlocked.

If you take an old flip phone it is a good idea to get a new battery before traveling and make sure everything works. A battery for an older flip phone often costs under $10.
Thanks for the advice. I’m going to look into our options based on your suggestions.