How is it possible to use all my data while in the London underground with no service?

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I just arrived in London today. I had bought a data plan. I tried using my phone at Heathrow to find the best route to my flat but there was no service. I got on the underground. I tried again (using an app called CityMapper). No service. No way to see what station to get off at. So I took a chance on Kensington. When I finally got above ground, I received a rapid series of text messages telling me I had gone over my data usage and was now over $100 extra and was locked out. The only way to get to my flat was to unblock the data. I have been charged $150 PLUS the $40 I paid for a data plan just for about 30 minutes on and off using an app to find my way to my flat. I will NEVER buy a data plan from Koodo again. Sim card tomorrow.
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maggieb

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  • furious and upset and ripped off

Posted 3 years ago

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Mitchell Palmater

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You can see right in your apps which one used the data.
Koodo can tell you exactly how many MB and when you used it.

It's not Koodos fault.
Your phone is likely set up to check emails or check weather or scan for facebook messages or updates.
You must be careful when on such a tight data budget. You have to turn off data for apps you dont need data for. If your phone is just running at full blast you will go through data very quickly..
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maggieb

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There was NO SERVICE - I was three storeys underground.  I tried to use my phone and was unable to do so.  It is Koodo's fault if it is charging me for data usage when there is no data available underground.
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maggieb

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Like I say, they SAY data was used, but I sat on that underground train, desperately trying to use the Citymapper App that I needed to get to my flat and there was no service.  So they charged me for using that app (yes, it says it used up data) but there was no service until I got above ground and was told I owed more than $100 for trying to use an app that wouldn't work because there was no service underground.  That doesn't sound too honest to me...Surely if the app isn't able to work because there is no signal there shouldn't be a charge for the usage...
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maggieb

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And the next set of charges grew out of the fact that they had blocked my data, left me in the middle of a city I didn't know and forced me to download the Uber app to try to get to my flat.  They refused to let me download that app BUT charged me for the data up until they cancelled the download!  It was issue after issue after issue.  I also forgot my password (because it's on my computer not my phone) so they also locked me out of my account.  Have you ever had a day like that?  Lost in a city you don't know, told you are running up a bill of over $150 when you haven't even been able to use your phone, locked out of your phone, locked out of an app that will get you home, locked out of your maps, and then locked out of your account all to the tune of about $200.  I could have bought an overpriced sim card at Heathrow and been far better off.... This was a rip off.
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Danny

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Did you check your phone and what it says as far as data consumption?  Is there a discrepancy between what your phone and Koodo are saying?
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maggieb

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Hi Danilo, no...there is data being charged via the Citymapper app while I was in the Underground - thing is, there was no coverage.  I tried many times to check which station I should get off at and it wouldn't respond.  So I got off at Kensington instead of Knightsbridge which started all my problems (I knew it was a "K" but couldn't remember which one, thinking I could just check the app).  So...somehow the phone was "connecting" to a tower enough to charge me $149 but not enough to send any data whatsoever to me while underground....
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Danny

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That's really frustrating!
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Dennis, Mobile Master

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Hi Maggie.  Ok so yes it sucks when things dont go as expected when traveling to a new city.  I have totally had that happen to me.  But dont this this ruin your trip or even your day.  You are in London!  Take it all in.

If there is no service (0 bars on your phone, then you are correct that no data should have been used).  However, these cell phones are tricky little buggers.
Go to Settings>Cellular
-If you reset your data usage statistics right before you landed, then this area should tell you how much data your phone used.  Depending when you reset this data counter, you can get an idea of what is using your data. I kep track of my usage abroad, I would take a screen shot of my usage (and the time of last reset) and reset it so I can keep track moving forward.
-Scrolling lower on this screen, you can turn off apps that use data.  I would advise that you turn off all these apps and only leave the ones you want.  Apps update and use data in the background all the time and 50MB can disappear fairly quickly unfortunately.

Moving forward:
Enjoy your trip since who knows when you will be back again.  You can worry about calling Koodo the bills later. But you have these options available to you.
1) Turn off data and just rely on wifi (inconvenient, but you will survive)
2) If you are in overage territory, then it is pay per use rates of $5/MB.  This is highway robbery.  I would not recommend pay per use and going over.  But if you do, know that you can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars in a day very easily.
3) Purchase a local prepaid sim and phone.  Something android and cheap should get you through your trip and cost way less than Roaming with Koodo

And lastly paper is your friend when traveling.  If your hotel has a printer, print out your itinerary and anything else you may need. When in the Underground, make sure you grab the pocket sized map of the train line.  Grab 2 or 3 so if you lose one, you have a back up.

Ok maybe this my lastly (I have been typing this message on and off for the last 30 minutes or more)
Offline maps and guides - Down load any PDF's to your phone for future reference.  Also search the app store for offline maps and guides.  Trip Advisor use to have them but I think they stopped.  Ulmon is another maker of this and is pretty good too.
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maggieb

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Thanks Dennis.  I haven't let it ruin my trip.  I did reach my flat (and I'm grateful that my airbnb host waited an extra 1.5 hours as I took very wide ranging crazy bus rides with kind Londoners helping me along the way) and I've shut off the data and will buy a sim card tomorrow (as I usually do).  I have always bought sim cards when I travel and I've never gone over my data usage so to have it happen while travelling underground and unable to use the one app I had "on" was pretty shocking.  Thing is, if Koodo wanted to charge me a big hunk of money for a gold-plated data roaming package, I would have paid it without question.  They've just lost a customer for future travels (and I travel a lot).  So...yes...it's London and I haven't slept in so long I don't know what day it is!  Thanks so much for your very kind and careful reply....:) Maggie
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Dennis, Mobile Master

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Just an FYI that your iphone (assuming it's a Koodo iphone) needs to be unlocked first before it will work with a non-koodo sim.

Here is a great travel link for pay as your go data in various countries
http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/United_Kingdom

For Europe I am a big fan of Lebara, but I have seen Lycan everywhere too.
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Danny

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Koodo offers roaming packages, Maggieb
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maggieb

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Danilo, I paid for a roaming package with Koodo.  That package ran out and went $150 over while I was sitting in the Underground with no service...
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Anna

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Hello Maggie! What must have happened is that while you were underground, you opened the App and entered in the address where you wanted to go. Since you were in a No Service zone, nothing happened. As soon as you got above ground, your phone started to download London's map and used up your full 50MG and then some. Since we do not have access to your account here, I cannot see exactly what happened. I invite you to send us a detailed e-mail on this secured link http://koo.do/11eMLdy and choose "Social Media" as a category when you return and  we will be more than happy to take a look at your account and see if there is anything we can do to help :) Enjoy your trip!
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maggieb

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Hi Anna, would you be kind enough to confirm why I received an email that my comment (below) in response to this post by you has been removed?  Thanks.  Maggie
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Anna

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Hello Maggie! Was it a comment made by you or by someone else? If the comment was written by you, you would have received a reason as to why it was being removed. If it was written by someone else, they received the justification. 
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maggieb

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Hi Anna, I do realize what must have occurred.  I won't be using your roaming packages again.  I've purchased sim cards in London and in Sydney and in NYC on past visits and have used CityMapper extensively in the first and last and Google Maps in the middle and I've never run out of data, certainly not while underground.  So....your partner is making a cash grab.  I have now downloaded Uber via wifi at my flat so I won't have another emergency and I'm heading out to buy a sim.  It's unfortunate because domestically I was very happy with Koodo.  Won't ever buy a roaming package again.  With the almost $200 I paid, I could have had a limo with champagne take me to my flat!

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