If you think that stories of eye-watering bills and grotesque charges are just cautionary tales made up to terrify 4G phone-toting jetsetters – think again. We’ve combed the web for the plaintive sobs and horrified cries of unfortunate phone owners who have been seriously wacked by massive data roaming charges.
Things are changing though. Providers like mobi-data.co.uk now offer global roaming at just 15p/MB. Meanwhile, the European Commission are planning to scrap charges across Europe. So why, for goodness sake why are you all letting these enormous fines ruin your travels? To help you take knocking your roaming data spend into shape seriously, here are some very scary stories that will have you rushing to your mobile provider tout suite!
Dom was on a ferry to Macau setting out on a day trip, merrily listening to iTunes Match on his iPhone 5. During his journey, our friend Dom fell asleep with his music still playing. As sleeping beauty slept, his ferry crossed into international waters and his data roaming bill started mounting. By the time he awoke he’d accrued a bill of $4000HKD. Ouch. Fortunately, the charge had been capped, but that’s a lot of money for a sleeping soundtrack…
One very disgruntled Australian iPad user spent 5 working weeks in New York, sending emails and using the web from her tablet in blissful ignorance of data roaming charges. When she returned home a $60,000AUS was waiting for her. She is currently fighting the charge. Preposterous!
A complainant calling himself simply “Stupido” is a travelling Aussie who suffers from tinnitus and had recently bought himself a brand new iPhone. On his first night in a foreign hotel he noticed the radio app on his phone. As a tinnitus sufferer, radio helps to block out the ringing noise, making it easier to sleep. He happily plugged in and went to sleep. This pattern went on for 2 weeks. When poor “Stupido” returned home, there was a whopping $37,000AUS waiting on the doormat. Nasty.
A fellow Brit reported a slightly less jaw-dropping £600 bill after travelling across the States for 3 weeks. When she checked the bill, the 3 most significant data usage days were those on which she was travelling and mostly had her phone turned off. When she contacted her provider, she was told that it was her automatic downloads which accounted for the great big bill. A lesson to us all to make sure all automatic downloads are turned off when we travel overseas. Ouch.
Italy resident C. Reed was driving through Germany when he found he needed to retrieve some information, he turned on his pre-paid phone and did what he had to do – except…after 6 minutes his browsing came to an end with a message stating that he was out of credit. Having put 60 Euros on the afternoon previously, this meant that his data was costing him a whopping 6 Euros a minute! Craziness…