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General Data roaming in Canada

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by mvyew8mv, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. mvyew8mv

    mvyew8mv Newbie
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    I spent about two weeks in Canada last July. Before crossing the border, I made sure that the Data Roaming switch was off. Having the Data Roaming switch off should have absolved me from all data roaming charges.

    After several days in Canada, I received a message stating that I had exceeded $150 in data roaming charges. I also noticed that the software in the TB had been updated from 1.12.605.6 to 1.70.605.0. I immediately called Verizon Customer Service and spoke to Carol. She assured me that since I had not done any data roaming and all data charges were the result of a software upgrade I would not be libel for any charges.

    When the August bill became available on line, I saw that VZW had added $297 for data roaming. This time I spoke to a different person whose best offer was to
     

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  2. Yeahha

    Yeahha Usually off topic
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    I'm impressed you got a software update when not on VZW's network. Generally they are called OTA because you can't download them VIA wifi.
     
  3. mvyew8mv

    mvyew8mv Newbie
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    That's correct. OTA means over the air - not WiFi. Unfortunately, the upgrade occurred when I was in Canada. I would be more impressed if VZW weren't trying to charge me $300 for the upgrade. They are now offering me a 60% rebate, but I'm holding out for 100%. If they don't agree, I'll try the credit card route.
     
  4. Yeahha

    Yeahha Usually off topic
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    Yeah but I thought you had to be on VZW's network I didn't realize you could just be on any carrier's network. I agree I would hold out for 100%, you should also find out how much data they are charging you for and compare it to the size of the OTA, if there is a difference offer to pay the difference. If you really didn't have any data roaming and the only data use was the OTA then hold out.
     
  5. mvyew8mv

    mvyew8mv Newbie
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    They are charging me for 148MB, but I don't know how to determine the size of the OTA. How do I do that?
     
  6. Yeahha

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    ...I would suggest finding out the size of the MR2 RUU but I don't think that would be the same as an OTA as it would wipe your data instead of preserving it, I will look around and see what I can find out.
     
  7. Yeahha

    Yeahha Usually off topic
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    A couple of issues for you. Found the update documents here http://support.vzw.com/pdf/system_update/thunderbolt_instructions.pdf


    According to that PDF
    Also

    So you shouldn't have been able to data roam and get the update. And unless it tried to update and failed the redownloaded everything again half the data use was not from the update. If you had the phone syncing or anything like that then you would be using data. I can see why they only offered to cut it in half for you, but you may have an uphill battle trying to get much more off than than. I do wish you luck however.

     
  8. TxGoat

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    What parts of Canada were you in? My parents went to Calgary and based on the Verizon website, it states they're inside the coverage map for data, not for voice.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Sailing_Nut

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    Software Engineer
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    I have not seen any charges, but I was in Canada recently and had the "data roaming" unchecked on my TB. I kept the phone in airplane mode for most of the trip, but at one point I did enable data and thought "I'm ON because data roaming is disabled" well, it didn't sink in immediately but I looked at my home screen and told my wife what the weather was going to be where we were in Canada. She immediately realized that my TB had pulled data while roaming. From there on out, my phone was in airplane mode.

    It is VERY disappointing that we can't trust the no roaming data setting on the phone. I would think that Verizon should be liable for every bit of data consumed in this manner, but it is nearly impossible to prove, so they can just sit back and collect $'s for something that costs them nearly nothing.

    Yet another example of corporate "monopoly" America rinning wild! Nearly as bad as the "promotional" data plan where you can get 300MB for the low low rate of $20/mo!
     
  10. mvyew8mv

    mvyew8mv Newbie
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    I was on Prince Edward Island. I know that I received a system upgrade notice while in Canada and I'm sure that the data when roaming switch was off the entire time.

    I made a previous trip to Canada about 5 months ago and forgot to turn the data when roaming switch off. VZW billed me about $30 for data roaming which I paid since it was my fault for not turning the data roaming switch off. It was because of the first trip that I was sure to turn the data when roaming switch off on the second trip.

    I saw no evidence of data activity such as email while in Canada except for the system upgrade. At no time in Canada did I use WiFi on the phone.

    Placing the phone in airplane mode disables the ability to make and receive calls, which is the reason I took the phone to Canada in the first place. I made and received several calls in Canada for which VZW correctly billed for voice roaming.

    According to the VZW rep I talked to, they have no VZW coverage in Canada. I think the coverage maps refer to coverage when roaming.
     
  11. TxGoat

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    Here's what I could find. I think I misspoke earlier, the page states that only text messages are covered under "domestic rates" but other data is actually charged at a different rate, so if you have your phone push your location's weather, or local points of interests via some app then you're screwed.

    Calling From Canada
     
  12. dc_maf

    dc_maf Newbie
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    I visited Victoria for a couple days at the beginning of the month and likewise thought that having data roaming disabled would be sufficient to avoid roaming charges. However, shortly after arrival I received this text from Verizon:

    Welcome to Canada! Roaming data may be billed up to $2.05/MB per your plan. Turn-off data or use WiFi to avoid charges. VZW Support 908-559-4899.

    I immediately turned off mobile data entirely and used the wifi at the B&B we were staying at. When I checked my bill online when I got home it showed $0.001 in roaming data charges, so having data roaming disabled was definitely not sufficient for avoiding charges.

    I noticed the map posted above is for a North American plan; I think I am on a US national plan, so it could be that it was allowing me to roam to a Verizon cell that was outside my free coverage area since it was part of Verizon's network. I don't think it should do that, roaming should be roaming, but I suspect that is what happened.

    Good luck with your billing battle and let us know how out turns out.
     
  13. mvyew8mv

    mvyew8mv Newbie
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    The problem is obviously bad coding in the TB. My previous phone was an HTC Ozone. I used the Ozone is Canada, Europe, South America and New Zealand without any data roaming charges. Before leaving the US again, I'll transfer service back to the Ozone to avoid a repeat.
     
  14. Yeahha

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    That will ruin the SIM card and you will need to have VZW send you a new one once you want to return service to the bolt. Not sure why this is but from what I have seen if you deactivate the 4G sim it will not work anymore.
     
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  15. TxGoat

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    This is true. I tried swapping phones when my TB went dead until I could get a replacement, and I had to get a new 4G card. Which I also think is what happened with my contract. The idiot that moved my service probably didn't realize that I was going from a 4G data plan back to a 3G data plan and would be going back once my service was restored....
     
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  16. mvyew8mv

    mvyew8mv Newbie
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    Thanks for the "heads up" on the SIM card after the TB has been deactivated. After the SIM card is ruined, can you still make and receive calls on the TB, or is the whole phone useless until you install a new SIM card?
     
  17. Yeahha

    Yeahha Usually off topic
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    I don't know honestly. Seeing as it is a LTE sim card I would think you could but seeing as you can change service on LTE phones by simply putting the SIM in another phone I could also see how you wouldn't get any service until you got a working SIM.
     
  18. TxGoat

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    Negative ghost rider. You can't make phone calls with a bad SIM card. I was actually told by a Verizon rep that I could always re-activate it after switching to another phone. I learned the hard way. What you'll have to do is go to a Verizon store and get a new SIM card. I must admit I was a little pissed considering I was hoping to re-activate my TB without making a trip to a Verizon store.
     
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  19. Yeahha

    Yeahha Usually off topic
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    You could make them ship you one.
     
  20. TxGoat

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    That's true, but I had my phone die on me on a Friday evening so they wouldn't begin the shipping process till Monday and I'd expect it on Tuesday, and possibly Wednesday. I went to the Verizon store on Saturday and picked up a SIM card there.
     
  21. mvyew8mv

    mvyew8mv Newbie
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    Today VZW hit my credit card for $361.18. I called the credit card company and am contesting $297.31 - the data roaming charge.
     
  22. TxGoat

    TxGoat Guest
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    I had to deal with AT&T this week since one of our managers went to Canada and racked up about $400 worth of roaming charges because he didn't turn off his phone. AT&T said that the billing cycle was expired and they couldn't roll back that month to an international plan to offset the extra charges until the invoice was sent.

    So today I called and spoke with a different rep and she said that the invoice had generated, she added international to his data/voice plan for last month, and then reverted his account back to what plan it was on. They wound up crediting us about $360 or so. I remember when Verizon used to go that extra mile for Customer Service and AT&T Customer Service was nonexistent.
     
  23. mvyew8mv

    mvyew8mv Newbie
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    So after waiting two months for American Express (AMEX) to resolve my dispute with VZW, they reached a conclusion. Without ever contacting me to find out why I was disputing the charge, they simply contacted VZW, VZW sent them a copy of my bill and AMEX said that I owed the full amount.

    I then called AMEX and told them I wanted to re-open the dispute and that I wanted to write them a letter describing why I was disputing the charge. They said OK, so the dispute is still unresolved.

    I'm now in the process of cancelling my AMEX card.

    My quandry is do I put up with the crappy coverage of AT&T or the crappy customer service of VZW?
     
  24. Yeahha

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    If you are on unlimited data I think I would stay with VZW. If you jump ship I would tell you to look at sprint since they still have unlimited data
     
  25. mvyew8mv

    mvyew8mv Newbie
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    So I re-contested the account with American Express and told them I wanted to write a letter explaining why I didn't owe any money. AMEX agreed and about 6 weeks later I received a letter saying that they had resolved the issue in my favor and I was absolved of any charges.

    Immediately after that I started getting robo calls from Verizon saying that my account was past due by an amount of $297 and that my phone would be turned off if I didn't pay.

    So I called Verizon and told them that I had a letter from AMEX saying that I was absolved from all charges. The representative promised that the account would be credited in full within 48 hours.

    The 48 hours passed - no credit. I called again and this time talked with a supervisor. She said that they had no record of my being promised a full refund, but offered my 60% (about $180) off. I accepted, knowing that the phone would be turned off if I didn't. She wasn't interested in the letter from AMEX.

    Bottom line - Verizon's customer service is sub-standard. Phone calls are not returned, promises are not kept.

    I'm still considering jumping ship at the end of the contract.
     

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