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How to avoid roaming charges

Maggiepen
I'm a Participant Level 1
I'm a Participant Level 1

I am out of country. How can I be sure of no roaming charges.

My sim card is out of phone now.

26 REPLIES 26

jifer1
I'm a Participant Level 1
I'm a Participant Level 1

I've been in the US now for a few winter months as a snowbird. In previous years, I used a Can/US plan with another provider but now that I've been away for 2 years and didn't need that international plan, I switched over to Fido, figuring I'd just use wifi calling while in Florida. No such luck. They charge a daily roaming fee even when your phone is set to roaming off and are using wifi calling. I tried to clarify the situation before I left but of course, as others have mentioned, the phone lines for Fido were busy (and message said a "5 hour wait" one time..). So flying by the seat of my pants, I came down and reasoned I just wouldn't leave roaming on. Now, I'm hit with a bill of over $200 in month one and $175 in month two while only using wifi calling from my home! Texting with Facebook messenger but of course, that means using the phone! You have to put your phone on "ariplane mode" which basicallly renders it useless! THIS SUCKS! And please don't give me the song and dance about "knowing your phone" when your support is so bad one can't reach anyone on the phone, Fido! There isn't even a Can/US plan of some kind! In Canada, I was pleased with Fido's reasonable rates as a retired person but basically this unexpected budget hit has taken the "n" out of "fun". for me down here! I just didn't  budget for this kind of phone bill.  On airplane mode now and can't get calls. Have to use my partner's phone for any incoming calls. It's like Green Acres. Let's just climb up that telephone pole!

Seedoc
I'm a Participant Level 3
I'm a Participant Level 3

I have this problem as well. My data is off and my phone is on airplane mode. I have wifi calling only but I continue to incur roaming charges. I suspect the only solution is leave your phone at home. What a scam 

Hello Seedoc,

 

  Welcome to the community!

 

  Sorry to hear you've incurred unexpected roaming charges. While you have done the correct measures to prevent the device from connecting to the local cellular networks, you note you used Wifi-calling.

 

  Were all of your calls and/or messages to Canadian phone numbers? There seems to be some misunderstanding regarding Wifi-calling . I'm not sure how people have gotten the impression that Wifi-calling does not use the networks. Unfortunately, that is not true. While the calls and messages do not transmit via cellular towers, they still use the networks via the internet gateway (see image here). The cellular towers and Wifi are merely alternate means of accessing the networks. Calls and messages would not be able to complete or get sent/received without the networks. As such, using Wifi-calling is technically using Fido services. However, they have allowed certain usage to be free from additional charges. All the messages and calls you receive (from anywhere in the world) will be taken from your plan's voice minutes and messaging limits. As well, all Wifi-calling messages and calls you make to a Canadian phone number while abroad won't incur long-distance or roaming charges (see link above).

 

 Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers

 


Seedoc
I'm a Participant Level 3
I'm a Participant Level 3

Thank you for that explanation. Upon further research with Apple, I learned that I must turn on data to turn off roaming on my 11 pro max. My phone will not display roaming options with data turned off. Further, do phone apps like What's App route through cellular data networks or wifi networks?  If the later, I am not using the FIDO network. 

Hello again,

 

  Thank you for the additional information. However, since you use an iPhone, you should also note that Apple apparently allows some data transfer to occur despite data and roaming data settings disabled (see here). 

 

  With regards to WhatsApp (and similar app-based services), they will use any data connection of which they have access. That is, they will use Wifi when available and will also use cellular data when Wifi is not available. In addition, while it's not mentioned on their website, it appears as though the app will automatically switch to using mobile airtime minutes (within the app) if it deems the internet connection is too slow for voice calls (see here and here). It should also be mentioned that other messaging apps may also behave in a similar manner.

 

  In order to prevent unintended roaming charges, it would be generally recommended to enable Airplane or Flight modes for the duration of your time away from Canada. You could then manually enable Wifi when required. Is it possible you enabled Airplane mode after you had arrived at your destination?

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers

 


Seedoc
I'm a Participant Level 3
I'm a Participant Level 3

Hi Again,

Thanks for continuing this discussion. My major issue is with avoiding roaming charges without completely disabling my phone. I understand that regardless of the service provider,  many users continue to experience difficulties avoiding unnecessary roaming charges. Rather than stating that users should not use their mobile phone when travelling out of Canada, Fido, and I expect other providers should have a statement on their web site to offer a clear and simple step by step instruction on how to avoid  roaming charges while continuing to use their phone. 
Service providers, not unexpectedly, are more interested in collecting exorbitant fees for roaming charges than offering a choice to users. 
Further to your comments on phone apps, my point was that cellular service providers are not necessary for wifi calling, notwithstanding that some apps may switch to cellular. 
As I mentioned previously, airplane mode did not prevent roaming charges. While Fido does not reveal current roaming fees, I cannot check fees until after I receive my bill. I anticipate that the steps I have taken now will avoid further charges. These include in order; 

Turn off roaming

Turn off cellular data

Turn on wifi calling 

Turn on airplane mode

I hope that this process will result in success; however, I am not certain until I receive my monthly statement. 

 

Hello again,

 

  I understand people want to be able to use their devices while abroad.

 


@Seedoc wrote:

... I expect other providers should have a statement on their web site to offer a clear and simple step by step instruction on how to avoid  roaming charges while continuing to use their phone...


  The Fido Roam charge incurs when your device uses Fido Services abroad. That is, the charge will incur when you make/receive calls, send text messages or your device uses data outside of Canada (see here). The mobile providers only know usage. If a device is using services when its settings are set not to use them, that's an issue with the device. The mobile providers have no access to a device's settings to know what settings are enabled/disabled. If you wish to keep your line available abroad, there is unfortunately no 100% guarantee your device won't use other services and trigger roaming charges. 

 

  Unfortunately, I don't think it's feasible to provide a step-by-step instruction for all devices to prevent usage. It would be the customer's responsibility to know how their own devices behave. For one, there are many different devices available and people customise their devices with their own preferences. Sure, the two most widely used OS systems are Android and iOS. However, there are still issues which might bypass any settings. For example, if a device has malware or viruses which might override device settings. That's an issue with the device, and not mobile providers. In addition, as previously mentioned, Apple apparently allows some data usage despite data and roaming settings disabled. Again, that would be an issue with how the device behaves and not the mobile providers. Furthermore, if your device is accessing the cellular networks despite Airplane mode enabled, that is also an issue with how the device behaves.

 

  In all of those cases, customers would complain that they followed the steps provided and might have still incurred roaming charges. As you note, it isn't limited to Fido. If the same issue is happening on other providers, the issue is with devices.

 

  In order to not incur roaming charges, customers would need to ensure their devices do not use services. I understand some people would consider that blaming customers. Rather, customers need to be responsible for the devices they use.

 


@Seedoc wrote:

...While Fido does not reveal current roaming fees, I cannot check fees until after I receive my bill....


  While it might not take a month for Fido to receive your usage, it does not happen in real-time.

 

       For post-paid roaming, when the user first switches their phone on, the visited network checks in real time whether the home network authenticates the customer and authorises its use abroad...  ~ taken from here.

 

  That would result in the Welcoming Abroad text message we receive when our phones connect to a foreign network.

 

       ...But the data records (CDRs) with the details on each SMS and data session are sent to the home operator with some delay (up to several days).. ~ also taken from link above.

 

  If home networks don't receive usage information in real-time, it's not possible for them to provide customers with notification that a roaming session has begun without a delay.

 

  The situation is different with pre-paid services where a real-time exchange is required to prevent the balance of the roaming customers' accounts from becoming overdrawn. That's likely the reason why pre-paid roaming often costs more than post-paid roaming.

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Seedoc
I'm a Participant Level 3
I'm a Participant Level 3

Cawtau, 
I regret that I cannot agree with many of your rationalizations. The customer is not responsible for understanding and navigating the roaming system.  This is the responsibility of the provider. As a quasi monopoly, service providers have an obligation to remove obstacles to alternate telecommunication services including wifi calling. Otherwise, there would be no need for CRTC regulation. 
Thank you for engaging in this discussion. Unfortunately, I see no means to address the 
roaming charges problem within this forum. 

 

Hello again,

 

  I never said customers were responsible for understanding or navigating the roaming system. I only said that customers need to be responsible for their own devices. For some reason, cellular devices seem to be the only possession we own which people don't think they should be responsible for its usage.

 

  As mentioned, mobile providers only know usage. If your device does not use services, there would not be any roaming charges.

 

Cheers

 


Hello Jifer1,

 

  Welcome to the community!

 

  Sorry to hear you've incurred unexpected Fido Roam charges. However, you chose not to verify what usage would incur roaming charges before you left.

 

  I understand you do not wish to be reminded about knowing your phone. However, not knowing your phone is part of your issue. As mentioned below, it is generally recommended to enable Airplane or Flight mode to prevent unintended roaming charges. It is also mentioned, though, that you can manually enable Wifi when required. That would allow you to use your phone for Facebook Messenger, etc.

 

  I also understand you used Wifi-calling. However, were all of your calls and/or messages to Canadian phone numbers? There seems to be some misunderstanding regarding Wifi-calling . I'm not sure how people have gotten the impression that Wifi-calling does not use the networks. However, that is not true. While the calls and messages do not transmit via cellular towers, they still use the networks via the internet gateway (see image here). The cellular towers and Wifi are merely alternate means of accessing the networks. Calls and messages would not be able to complete or get sent/received without the networks. As such, using Wifi-calling is technically using Fido services. However, they have allowed certain usage to be free from additional charges. All the messages and calls you receive (from anywhere in the world) will be taken from your plan's voice minutes and messaging limits. As well, all Wifi-calling messages and calls you make to a Canadian phone number while abroad won't incur long-distance or roaming charges (see link above).

 


@jifer1 wrote:

...On airplane mode now and can't get calls. ...


  If you are connected to the cellular networks, receiving calls is considered roaming usage.

 

  I also understand this is a difficult time and receiving such a bill even more distressing. If you're unable to make full payment on the bill, you might consider trying to arrange a payment schedule. To make an arrangement, you'll need to contact the credit operations department. It should also be mentioned that any arrangement would be at the discretion of the credit operations team.

 

  You should note that the forums are community-driven and not intended as a venue for customer services. You would need to contact customer service. In addition, they can also be contacted via Live Chat, Facebook, or Twitter. Those methods can be accessed via the contact page posted above.

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers

 


Gottabmxd26
I'm a Contributor Level 1
I'm a Contributor Level 1

Not cool Fido.  Seriously....Tricking customers into thinking if they just turn off their data they won't be roaming.  NOPE, that is NOT the case.  Found out the hard way, rules have changed.  So because I received one text I'm going to be charge $12. Thanks a lot, seriously not impressed I will be looking into other providers.   So not impressed!

Gorgeousme
I'm a Participant Level 1
I'm a Participant Level 1

they did the same to me last month despite me asking them in June to stop this! they're scammers and im definitely changing to another providers. 

Hello Gorgeousme,

 

  Welcome to the community!

 

  Sorry to hear you might have incurred unexpected roaming charges. I understand you have already contacted customer service. However, what did you ask them to stop? Did you opt-out of Fido Roam? If yes, that does not prevent roaming. Any usage outside of Canada would be on a pay-per-use basis. On the other hand, if you requested them to place a roaming block on your line then it should have prevented your device from using roaming services.

 

  I understand wanting to switch providers out of spite. However, if your device is connecting to foreign networks when you are not intending for it to connect, it will still do so with a different provider. As mentioned below, it might be better to keep Airplane or Flight mode enabled for the duration of your trips.

 

  You should note this forum is community-driven and not intended as a venue for customer services. We would not have access to your account. If you wanted to discuss your situation, you would need to contact customer service. In addition, they can also be contacted via Live Chat, Facebook, or Twitter. Those methods can be accessed via the contact page posted above. 

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers

 


Labeed
I'm a Participant Level 2
I'm a Participant Level 2

Please stop my roaming

Labeed
I'm a Participant Level 2
I'm a Participant Level 2

Hi now I'm outside of country I want to stop my roaming but come back I want remain open my sim

Hello Labeed,

 

  Welcome to the community!

 

  If you wish to opt-out of Fido Roam or block roaming, you would need to contact customer service. In addition, they can also be contacted via Live Chat, Facebook, or Twitter. Those methods can be accessed via the contact page posted above.

 

  In order to prevent roaming charges, it is usually recommended to disable data and roaming data. However, it should be noted that disabling roaming data does not prevent roaming for voice or text messaging. It would also be recommended to keep Airplane or Flight modes enabled for the duration of trips. You could manually enable Wifi when required. I understand doing so would also prevent incoming SMS or emergency calls. However, people need to know how their devices behave if they intend on keeping their devices available for those services.

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers


FidoValeska
Former Moderator
Former Moderator

Hey @Maggiepen

 

Welcome to the community Smiley 

 

If you would like to avoid roaming charges, there are a few things you would need to know. 

  1. Do not answer any calls or make any calls. This includes making calls to your voicemail.
  2. Do not send any text messages. Incoming texts are free.
  3. Keep the data turned off. You must disable data roaming in your phone's settings.

You can also keep the SIM card outside of the phone or even put the phone on airplane mode. Wi-Fi can then be manually activated when you need it.

 

Alternatively, if you wish to use your services while travelling, most of our plans are equipped with Fido Roam.

 

This feature will let you use your plan as if you were in Canada for a flat daily fee. Meaning that you can make unlimited calls (within the country you're travelling or to Canadian numbers), send unlimited texts and use the data available on your plan. Though please note that the daily fee is billed per calendar day, until 11:59:59 p.m. ET, regardless of the time zone you are roaming in, and not by 24h periods.

 

Should you consider using Wi-Fi calling while travelling, note that the minutes, texts and MMS that you use come from your airtime and messaging buckets in your plan. In other words, roaming charges will apply for using your services combined with Wi-Fi calling with a few exceptions:

  1. Outgoing calls and text messages to Canadian numbers. No long distance or roaming charges will apply.
  2. Incoming calls and messages received from anywhere in the world. No long distance or roaming charges will apply as well.

However, roaming fees will apply for outgoing Wi-Fi Calling messages and calls to a non-Canadian numbers.

 

Hope this helps!



Gottabmxd26
I'm a Contributor Level 1
I'm a Contributor Level 1

Horrible just horrible how you are tricking clients into serous roaming charges.  I shouldn't have to call customer service and be on the phone for an hour just to opt out of this ridiculous overage. I hope you enjoy all the money you're soaking out of your customers.  I should be able to pay a text fee if I need to make an emergency text but $12 roaming charge for one text?  How do you even justify that with a straight face.  So bad Fido.

Hey @Gottabmxd26,

 

Keep in mind when using Fido Roam, you're charged the same amount (based in the country you're visiting) wether you use your device for 1 SMS or 50 SMS. 

 

The Fido Roam fee is charged not only when you use data, but also when you place or receive a call or send an outgoing text message while outside of Canada, as well as when you access your voicemail. With Fido Roam, you can use your Fido services as if you were back in Canada until 11:59:59 p.m. ET, regardless of the time zone you are roaming in. 

 

You can find more information here: https://www.fido.ca/consumer/mobile/travel

 

 



Gottabmxd26
I'm a Contributor Level 1
I'm a Contributor Level 1

Exactly my point. Nobody should be forced into a full 24hr roaming fee to send one text or necessary phone call.  UNACCEPTABLE

 

Your reply doesn't offer any value, only serves to further alienate me.