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US Roaming Charges - 0.001MB


Userlevel 2
I travel to the US frequently and I never dial/answer voice calls or send SMS/MMS messages while there. "Auto-download MMS when roaming" is also disabled.

I've always had data roaming disabled on my phone but in the past this didn't stop me from getting roaming charges sometimes but they were always small amounts (like 0.070MB or 0.050MB) and I would get the $5 US data roaming charge.

As a result, I decided to start manually disabling mobile data before leaving Canada while the service provider banner still says Koodo, using strictly WiFi while in the US, and then only re-enable mobile data once the service provider banner says Koodo when back in Canada.

This worked fine for months, then suddenly starting in July, I started getting text messages after returning to Canada saying "Welcome back to Canada! Check your total roaming usage at koodo.com/selfserve" and when I check Self Serve it says I'm being charged $5 for US Data Roaming as a result of 0.001MB (1KB) usage of data... How?

I just got off the phone with a rep to have this corrected for a charge in September. He said he couldn't pinpoint what generated the data, but it was possibly a "notification". As always, no SMS/MMS messages were sent while roaming and none were received on this specific trip either, strangely not even the standard Koodo welcome to the USA messages. 

Back in July the rep "claimed" this was a known issue, but today's rep did not have any idea of any roaming billing issues and it was like pulling teeth to have it corrected. He made it sound like he was doing me a huge favour as a result of my own mistake.

Something is wrong with your system in regards to tracking US data roaming and it needs to get fixed ASAP because I'm sick of calling in for billing corrections.

41 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Data can be leaked even though it's turned off. I will admit though, it's strange that it is happening this much to you. It has yet to happen to me while traveling in the US.
Userlevel 2
Allan wrote:

Data can be leaked even though it's turned off. I will admit though, it's strange that it is happ...

Hmm, interesting theory... Although I don't want to be forced to put my phone on airplane mode, because I would miss out on the caller ID of missed calls or incoming SMS messages, I might consider using it in the future to avoid charges until this issue is fixed.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Allan wrote:

Data can be leaked even though it's turned off. I will admit though, it's strange that it is happ...

Are you restarting your phone while in the US?
Userlevel 2
Allan wrote:

Data can be leaked even though it's turned off. I will admit though, it's strange that it is happ...

Not that I can recall, but I will have to pay more attention in the future and see if that is the culprit.
My phone has an issue where the APN does not activate unless I toggle it after any restart. It won't automatically connect to data even in Canada unless that is done first.
Userlevel 2
Allan wrote:

Data can be leaked even though it's turned off. I will admit though, it's strange that it is happ...

This issue seems nothing less than a Koodo or Telus problem. I live in a border town and I always keep my phone on. Sometimes I forget to disable DATA (iPhone) when I travel to the USA (weekly) but Rogers blocks it automatically. I have never had an issue with "leaked" data...well, actually now that I think back I did many moons ago. My iPhone reported a super tiny amount of data in roaming. I called Rogers and I was told don't concern myself with it. Should I get billed for it, call back. I never did get charged.

In something like 10+ years since we have had data on our cell phones, I have never been charged for roaming data. If this data "leaking" is not uncommon with Koodo, there are serious issues here that need to be resolved. It should not be happening.  

Furthermore, Koodo CSRs need to go back to training and stop being condescending to customers who keep them employed. It is not acceptable. They are not doing a customer a favor when the CSR are simply doing their job.  And FWIW, I have been with Rogers for more than 25 years. I am a "regular" caller. I have only been belittled a couple times at most. When I have, I called back and spoke to a supervisor or their Office of the President. Then again, Rogers is a premium cellular provider unlike Koodo, Chatr, Public Mobile and Freedom Mobile.
Userlevel 2
Allan wrote:

Data can be leaked even though it's turned off. I will admit though, it's strange that it is happ...

My HTC 10 isn't the only one having this issue either. My sister has a Samsung S7 and follows the same procedure of turning off data as I do when we travel together, and she was also charged for 0.001MB data usage when we went on one of the recent trips so it's not a handset specific issue.

Android Oreo was reported to have a bug that kept using mobile data even when connected to WiFi, but I run Marshmallow and she runs Nougat, so I don't think that's the case here.

It could be an Android issue since the handset is somehow still communicating on some level, but this should NOT be treated as intentional data usage. It should be handled just as you described Rogers handles it.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
1X data is a legacy data form from the days of flip phones and EVDO and 2G networks. It seems it is often a handshake from a US carrier that determines you are not using data, but consumes a few KB or less.  It has been suggested repeatedly that Koodo trap these tiny amounts of data so they are not billed, but so far, it has not happened.

All I can suggest is to keep doing what you have been.

Userlevel 2
David wrote:

1X data is a legacy data form from the days of flip phones and EVDO and 2G networks. It seems it ...

Yeah, I found it weird that the charge is labeled "1X Data". They really need to rename that as it's terribly inaccurate and false.

I haven't used a CDMA phone in years, and although I think my unlocked version of the HTC 10 is CDMA capable, it is set to "GSM/WCDMA/LTE auto" mode.

I definitely agree they should trap tiny amounts of data, perhaps having an exemption for usage under 1MB. You can't truly do much with such little data.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
David wrote:

1X data is a legacy data form from the days of flip phones and EVDO and 2G networks. It seems it ...

There are flip phones which use a SIM card and are not CDMA. These use 1X data if I recall (it's been a LONG time!)
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Hey Andrew,

Have you bought about just sending a FB message instead of calling in. You would los less time that way.
Userlevel 2
Robert wrote:

Hey Andrew,

Have you bought about just sending a FB message instead of calling in. You would los...

Didn't realize I could do it through Facebook. Might give it a try next time it happens. 15 minute hold times for issues that shouldn't even be happening in the first place is a waste of time.
Userlevel 2
Robert wrote:

Hey Andrew,

Have you bought about just sending a FB message instead of calling in. You would los...

Used Facebook for my latest November 0.002MB data roaming charge and they took 2 days to respond to my initial message requesting help but provided a credit immediately once told what the issue was.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Robert wrote:

Hey Andrew,

Have you bought about just sending a FB message instead of calling in. You would los...

It's nice they removed the charge. (I believe they should do it anyway.)

It will be great Koodo just change their billing system like they don't change customer for data roaming charge under 5 or 10 MB usage. Then people dont need to going through this hassle.
Userlevel 2
I know with Rogers/Fido Data is blocked without the customer having to do anything. It's done at the network level. Is this not the same with Koodo?
Userlevel 2
Dwayne_888 wrote:

I know with Rogers/Fido Data is blocked without the customer having to do anything. It's done at ...

Hmmm... Just logged into Self Serve to see if there was an add-on I could remove for data roaming or an add-on to block data roaming.
There is an add-on called International Data Roaming that isn't currently on my account, so I don't know why my phone is even capable of data roaming unless the US isn't considered international for some reason.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Dwayne_888 wrote:

I know with Rogers/Fido Data is blocked without the customer having to do anything. It's done at ...

The US isn't part of the international data roaming add on
Userlevel 2
Dwayne_888 wrote:

I know with Rogers/Fido Data is blocked without the customer having to do anything. It's done at ...

It should be, so it can be a way to solve this issue... Last I checked, the US is a completely different nation than Canada.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Dwayne_888 wrote:

I know with Rogers/Fido Data is blocked without the customer having to do anything. It's done at ...

Due to their proximity, the US is it's on separate add-on with prefered pricing.
I have experienced the exact same problem...and have been experiencing it for almost 2 years now despite ensuring that cellular data is completely turned off before crossing the border (not just roaming turned off, but cellular off as well). My traveling companion, on Telus, had the exact same miniscule data charges and at the exact same times, but our other companion, on Bell, did not, so appears to be a Telus/Koodo problem. We all have different phones so it is not a hardware or settings problem. Koodo always reverses the $5 for me. Telus also reversed the charges on my companion's account even though it was just pennies because Telus doesn't have the ridiculous $5 minimum charge. In discussing the problem with Telus/Koodo they acknowledged they were aware of a problem with "leakage" (Telus even went as far as to have me talk to their network department) but as I said, that was 2 years ago and it still happens. Because of the teenie-tiny amounts it's obvious it isn't any user initiated data consumption but likely a "handshake" or similar issue. My belief is that Koodo doesn't care. Those that question it get it reversed, but for all the people that don't check their bills or don't notice...oh well. Won't this problem be great with EasyRoam? You don't actively use your services but get dinged $7 because 0.1 Kb "leaked" in the background. Possibly every day that you're away. At least the $5 was for the whole billing cycle. Buyer beware!
Userlevel 2
i4 wrote:

I have experienced the exact same problem...and have been experiencing it for almost 2 years now ...

Glad to see this issue confirmed with someone else as well.
I didn't think this was just an issue I'm having.
Time to draw attention to it, so it gets fixed.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
i4 wrote:

I have experienced the exact same problem...and have been experiencing it for almost 2 years now ...

@i4, it only seems to happen once per carrier connection, if it happens at all, so in my experience, would not be an issue with EasyRoam beyond the first day, again, if at all. I’ve had it happen once in all the trips I have taken to the US.
Userlevel 2
i4 wrote:

I have experienced the exact same problem...and have been experiencing it for almost 2 years now ...

Hmm. One time is one too many. It doesn't happen with the premium carriers. It's my opinion that this should not be happening....just like it shouldn't be happening where Koodo is blocking my Apple 2 step verification. 
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
i4 wrote:

I have experienced the exact same problem...and have been experiencing it for almost 2 years now ...

@Dwayne_888, I have experienced it on Telus, so it can happen on the parent carriers.
Userlevel 2
i4 wrote:

I have experienced the exact same problem...and have been experiencing it for almost 2 years now ...

Hmm. It only happened once with me on Rogers. I go to the USA at least once a week.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
i4 wrote:

I have experienced the exact same problem...and have been experiencing it for almost 2 years now ...

I thought once was too many?

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