Got roaming charges but Cell Data=Off, Data Roaming=Off, Airplane Mode=Off?

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Got roaming charges but Cell Data=Off, Data Roaming=Off, Airplane Mode=Off?

I live in Canada but was on vacation in Mexico in Jan/Feb 2018.  I use an iPhone 6 and took all necessary precautions to ensure I would not get any roaming charges on my account. Specifically, I set Cellular Data=Off, Data Roaming=Off, Airplane Mode=On.

 

I connected to the internet ONLY via WiFi at our residence, in shops and in coffee bars etc.

 

To my surprise, daily roaming charges were still incurred.  How is this possible when I took the precautions necessary?  My suspicion is that the sending or receiving of text messages is what was triggering this, but I don't think MMS/IM is supposed to trigger roaming fees for the day if connection is via WiFi.

 

I have a theory as follows:

 

1) Connected to a local WiFi, I send a message.

2) WiFi connection drops erratically/intermittently, but only for very brief periods (seconds, not minutes) before reconnecting (flaky WiFi is a possibility in some areas of course).

3) Dropped WiFi (no matter how brief), causes some sort of default connection to the Internet outside of WiFi (even though precautions are still in place). The drop triggers Data Roaming charges to start for 24 hrs.

 

Can someone tell me if this theory is valid? Is this how the system works with respect to Instant Messaging and iPhones?

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Re: Got roaming charges but Cell Data=Off, Data Roaming=Off, Airplane Mode=

Hello DJF,

 

  Welcome to the community!

 

   Sorry to hear got you an unexpected surprise upon your return. What plan type do you have? Is it a plan with Fido Roam? Or is the charge a roaming data charge?

 

  I understand you disabled cellular data as well as roaming data. I also understand you enabled airplane mode. Does your iPhone 6 have Wifi-calling enabled?

 


@DJF wrote:...My suspicion is that the sending or receiving of text messages is what was triggering this, but I don't think MMS/IM is supposed to trigger roaming fees for the day if connection is via WiFi....

  Are the message correspondance via iMessage or SMS/MMS? If you have Fido Roam, outgoing Wi-Fi Calling messages (SMS/MMS) and calls to a non-Canadian number will incur the Fido Roam daily charge (taken from here). It does not necessarily have to be data to trigger the fee.

 

  If you don't have Fido Roam, sending text messages (SMS) will incur a roaming text charge 75¢ per SMS sent (see Zone 3, here). You should note that sending and/or receiving MMS does not get transmitted via Wifi (except for Wifi-calling) and would be considered roaming data and therefore incur the $ 9.99 per 10 MB (24 hours) fee. That said, if your phone had airplane mode enabled, it should not have been able to send/receive SMS or MMS.

 


@DJF wrote:....

3) Dropped WiFi (no matter how brief), causes some sort of default connection to the Internet outside of WiFi (even though precautions are still in place). The drop triggers Data Roaming charges to start for 24 hrs....


  If your phone had airplane mode enabled, it should not have been able to connect to data outside of Wifi.

 

Hope this helps Smiley

 

Cheers

 

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Re: Got roaming charges but Cell Data=Off, Data Roaming=Off, Airplane Mode=

Hello DJF,

 

  Welcome to the community!

 

   Sorry to hear got you an unexpected surprise upon your return. What plan type do you have? Is it a plan with Fido Roam? Or is the charge a roaming data charge?

 

  I understand you disabled cellular data as well as roaming data. I also understand you enabled airplane mode. Does your iPhone 6 have Wifi-calling enabled?

 


@DJF wrote:...My suspicion is that the sending or receiving of text messages is what was triggering this, but I don't think MMS/IM is supposed to trigger roaming fees for the day if connection is via WiFi....

  Are the message correspondance via iMessage or SMS/MMS? If you have Fido Roam, outgoing Wi-Fi Calling messages (SMS/MMS) and calls to a non-Canadian number will incur the Fido Roam daily charge (taken from here). It does not necessarily have to be data to trigger the fee.

 

  If you don't have Fido Roam, sending text messages (SMS) will incur a roaming text charge 75¢ per SMS sent (see Zone 3, here). You should note that sending and/or receiving MMS does not get transmitted via Wifi (except for Wifi-calling) and would be considered roaming data and therefore incur the $ 9.99 per 10 MB (24 hours) fee. That said, if your phone had airplane mode enabled, it should not have been able to send/receive SMS or MMS.

 


@DJF wrote:....

3) Dropped WiFi (no matter how brief), causes some sort of default connection to the Internet outside of WiFi (even though precautions are still in place). The drop triggers Data Roaming charges to start for 24 hrs....


  If your phone had airplane mode enabled, it should not have been able to connect to data outside of Wifi.

 

Hope this helps Smiley

 

Cheers

 


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Re: Got roaming charges but Cell Data=Off, Data Roaming=Off, Airplane Mode=

Hello Cawtau.  Many thanks for responding so promptly to my post, much appreciated.  Apologies for the delay, but here are the answers to your questions:

 

Q: What plan type do you have? Is it a plan with Fido Roam? Or is the charge a roaming data charge?

A: FIDO Pulse Plan. I understand that with a Pulse plan, Fido Roam is "available" but my online account services overview states "Use the data, talk and text from your Fido PulseTM plan for a low daily price. Just turn on data roaming and go!". Since I did not have data roaming turned on, it should not have been triggered.  The charge is labelled "Fido Roam - International" on the billing

------------------------

Q: Does your iPhone 6 have Wifi-calling enabled?

A: No. I have never tried WiFi calling (never had the need to).

------------------------

Q: Are the message correspondance via iMessage or SMS/MMS?

A: On my iPhone, SMS has always been turned off (because it states "Carrier messaging rates may apply" if you turn it on, so I've always avoided that). However, MMS messaging is on (apparently it's on by default, and I've never changed that). 

------------------------

Q: ...sending and/or receiving MMS does not get transmitted via Wifi (except for Wifi-calling) and would be considered roaming data and therefore incur the $ 9.99 per 10 MB (24 hours) fee. That said, if your phone had airplane mode enabled, it should not have been able to send/receive SMS or MMS.

A: I had Airplane Mode enabled on the flight into Mexico, and it stayed on for the duration of the vacation. The reason I know is that I checked Airplane Mode status on the return flight after a month of vacation, and it was still enabled. 

------------------------

I compared the messages (still in my iPhone) against the detailed billing (for the roaming charges):

 

LocationDateRoaming Charge in bill? (CAD$)DescriptioniPhone Text Log shows texting was done on this day?
Arrival in MexicoThursday, January 25, 18$10.00Fido Roam - InternationalYes
MexicoFriday, January 26, 18$10.00Fido Roam - InternationalYes
MexicoSaturday, January 27, 18$10.00Fido Roam - InternationalYes
MexicoSunday, January 28, 18$10.00Fido Roam - InternationalYes
MexicoMonday, January 29, 18  Yes
MexicoTuesday, January 30, 18$10.00Fido Roam - InternationalYes
MexicoWednesday, January 31, 18  No
MexicoThursday, February 1, 18  No
MexicoFriday, February 2, 18$10.00Fido Roam - InternationalYes
MexicoSaturday, February 3, 18$10.00Fido Roam - InternationalYes
MexicoSunday, February 4, 18  Yes
MexicoMonday, February 5, 18$10.00Fido Roam - InternationalYes
MexicoTuesday, February 6, 18  No
MexicoWednesday, February 7, 18$10.00
Fido Roam - International
Yes
MexicoThursday, February 8, 18  Yes
MexicoFriday, February 9, 18$10.00Fido Roam - InternationalYes
MexicoSaturday, February 10, 18$10.00Fido Roam - InternationalYes
MexicoSunday, February 11, 18  Yes
MexicoMonday, February 12, 18  No
MexicoTuesday, February 13, 18  Yes
MexicoWednesday, February 14, 18$10.00Fido Roam - InternationalYes
MexicoThursday, February 15, 18$10.00Fido Roam - InternationalYes
MexicoFriday, February 16, 18$10.00Fido Roam - InternationalYes
MexicoSaturday, February 17, 18$10.00Fido Roam - InternationalYes
MexicoSunday, February 18, 18  Yes
MexicoMonday, February 19, 18$10.00Fido Roam - InternationalYes
MexicoTuesday, February 20, 18$10.00Fido Roam - InternationalYes
Departure from MexicoWednesday, February 21, 18  No

 

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Re: Got roaming charges but Cell Data=Off, Data Roaming=Off, Airplane Mode=

Hello again,

 

  Thanks for the additional information!

 

  Firstly, just to clarify...

 


@DJF wrote:..."Use the data, talk and text from your Fido PulseTM plan for a low daily price. Just turn on data roaming and go!". Since I did not have data roaming turned on, it should not have been triggered....

  data roaming only applies to data services. Newer phones generally do not have a option to disable roaming entirely in the same way as data. Talk and text services are still available if roaming data is disabled. That said, enabling airplane mode should disable all antennae thereby preventing roaming. I do understand your airplane mode was enabled.

 

  Are you able to view the amount of data used each of those days? There have been instances of iPhones leaking data even while the appropriate settings were in place. I apologise, I do not remember if it was iOS related or phone model related. You might consider contacting customer service to have them go over the data (or services) used. Alternatively, you could send a PM to a moderator and they should be able to view the data used.

 

  Another possibility, does your phone have Wifi-assist enabled? Apparently, it's enabled by default and has shown to be the culprit in some instances of data usage with roaming settings appropriately disabled. It's supposed to help you stay connected to the Internet even if you have a poor Wi-Fi connection. However, I wouldn't expect it to still function with Airplane mode enabled.

 

  However, since you correlated the charges to messages sent, it's possible the charges are for MMS. In your messaging app, were the messages green or blue? It's possible that the messages were forced to send as MMS since you had SMS disabled. Data within MMS count against both the sender's and the recipient's monthly data limits in their phone service plans (see here). Again, I wouldn't expect your phone to be able to send and/or receive MMS with Airplane mode enabled (except for Wifi-calling).

 

  Sorry I couldn't provide any more useful information, but I hope some of this helps Smiley

 

Cheers

 

 

 


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Re: Got roaming charges but Cell Data=Off, Data Roaming=Off, Airplane Mode=

Thank again Cawtau, for your response!

 

Q:  In your messaging app, were the messages green or blue?

A:  My messages on my iPhone were green. Here's a screenshot of a few messages we exchanged with our friends from Jan 29-31 as an example.

 

 

You mentioned "It's possible that the messages were forced to send as MMS since you had SMS disabled".  I think it would behove FIDO to post an alert to users of their MMS systems when they are travelling, to avoid this trap. Perhaps a pop-up message that says "Are you sure you want to send this text? You are in MMS mode and will incur roaming charges"....or something on those lines (they can send pop-up messages when users enter a different region/country, so I'm sure they could do something for an MMS roaming charge warning).

 

Lastly, the Airplane Mode question still really bothers me.  I am confident that I had it turned on, so if it is supposed to turn off all antennae, then how was the messaging working if not through wireless?  FIDO Support via online chat really tried to help, bless their hearts, but it was not really effective unfortunately.

 

I am giving up on this mystery, and will probably be changing my provider in the near future.  Thanks again for your help and interest.

 

 

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Re: Got roaming charges but Cell Data=Off, Data Roaming=Off, Airplane Mode=

Hello again,

 


@DJF wrote:...A:  My messages on my iPhone were green. Here's a screenshot of a few messages we exchanged with our friends from Jan 29-31 as an example.

  I do not see any screenshot of your messages, however, I believe the green messages are SMS or MMS rather than iMessages (blue).


@DJF wrote:... I think it would behove FIDO to post an alert to users of their MMS systems when they are travelling, to avoid this trap. Perhaps a pop-up message that says "Are you sure you want to send this text? You are in MMS mode and will incur roaming charges"....or something on those lines (they can send pop-up messages when users enter a different region/country, so I'm sure they could do something for an MMS roaming charge warning)....

  When I went to the US, I received a text message welcoming myself to the US. In that message, it outlined the rates for talk, text, and data. Now, I do not have Fido Roam, but I assume those travellers receive a similar welcoming message indicating Use the data, talk and text from your Fido PulseTM plan for a low daily price - with rates included. So I think people are warned about texting while roaming incurring fees. Both SMS and MMS are considered text messaging and would therefore trigger the roaming fee. I'm not sure why your phone specifies charges for SMS but not MMS.

 

  I'm also a little perplex as to why your phone was able to send MMS with Airplane mode enabled. I don't think it should have been possible. You might consider contacting Apple support to see if they have any ideas or suggestions. If the issue is with the phone and/or the iOS, then it's possible you could run into the same issue with a different provider.

 

Hope this helps Smiley

 

Cheers

 

 

 


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Re: Got roaming charges but Cell Data=Off, Data Roaming=Off, Airplane Mode=

The problem with Airplane mode is its not standardized across different phones and manufacturers.  Some devices turn off cellular browsing, some turn off cellular data completely  (browsing and mms), some turn off cellular network (ability to make calls) and data off completely,  but allow wifi to still connect.

 

Unless there is proper legislation from governments there will never be a joint standard and the onice will be up to the end user to figure out if they turned off their data completely.

 

It appears that in the op's case turning airplane mode ON managed to turn off the Access Point for Browsing but still managed to keep the Access point for MMS turned on,  MMS and Browsing both use whats called Data, so even if browsing is off but MMS goes thru, you are roaming in another country so sending an MMS (using Data) will be considered roaming data, (but billed differently on your bill but still roaming)

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Re: Got roaming charges but Cell Data=Off, Data Roaming=Off, Airplane Mode=

Thanks for your feedback Paolo. 

 

I’m guessing that it’s unlikely consumers are able to determine precisely how their phones operate?  A phone’s behaviour would be determined by both hardware and software factors (and software behaviour can vary by version/patch level).

 

My summary and warning to consumers: If you want zero roaming fees, be aware that all the options you turn on or off will possibly be to no avail.

 

My suggestion to FIDO: Figure out a way to more adequately and explicitly warn consumers of this issue. Better yet, figure out a way to fix it (without blaming the device behaviour).

 

Thanks again Paolo

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Re: Got roaming charges but Cell Data=Off, Data Roaming=Off, Airplane Mode=

Hello again,

 


@@DJ wrote:...

My summary and warning to consumers: If you want zero roaming fees, be aware that all the options you turn on or off will possibly be to no avail....


   An alternative way to prevent roaming charges is to remove the SIM before you leave Canada. However, people with Wifi-calling enabled should note that its usage will likely incur roaming charges even though their phones do not connect to international cellular towers (see here).

 

Hope this helps Smiley

 

Cheers


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Re: Got roaming charges but Cell Data=Off, Data Roaming=Off, Airplane Mode=

I also honestly think Fido should warn user that Fido Roam has been activated for the day. No SMS is sent out if Fido Roam is in use. Not to mention the website is not very clear as to what will activate fido roam.

 

I was in Portugal last year and i always travel with 2 phones. I use an iPhone with my Fido sim and an android phone with a local sim in Portugal. Data roaming was turned off on my Fido phone and I was connected thru hotspot to my Portugal phone. On 1 day, I received a call on my Fido phone... and I only found out that Roam was activated because of it when I returned to Canada and got my bill. The call lasted for less than a minute but I was charged for the full day of roam. Had I known that roam was activted because of the call, i would've use the Fido phone for the balance of the day or not pickup the call at all. I was expecting to pay only long distance.

 

For the OP, it's just weird if your messages were in green if airplane mode is on. Only explanation is I have a feeling that Wifi Calling is on. I think by default it is On... What IOS is installed on your phone?

 

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