US Roaming Charges - 0.001MB

  • 3
  • Question
  • Updated 6 months ago
  • (Edited)
Archived and Closed

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies and is no longer visible to community members.

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.

Photo of Andrew

Andrew

  • 420 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
  • annoyed.

Posted 8 months ago

  • 3
Photo of Allan

Allan, Mobile Master

  • 59,616 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
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.
Photo of Andrew

Andrew

  • 420 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
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.
Photo of Dennis

Dennis, Mobile Master

  • 191,918 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
Are you restarting your phone while in the US?
Photo of Andrew

Andrew

  • 420 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
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.
Photo of Dwayne_888

Dwayne_888

  • 1,004 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
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.
(Edited)
Photo of Andrew

Andrew

  • 420 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
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.
Photo of David

David, Mobile Master

  • 91,588 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
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.
Photo of Andrew

Andrew

  • 420 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
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.
Photo of David

David, Mobile Master

  • 91,588 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
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!)
Photo of Robert

Robert, Mobile Master

  • 105,200 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
Hey Andrew,

Have you bought about just sending a FB message instead of calling in. You would los less time that way.
Photo of Andrew

Andrew

  • 420 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
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.
Photo of Andrew

Andrew

  • 420 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
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.
Photo of Mayumi

Mayumi, Mobile Master

  • 113,750 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
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.
(Edited)
Photo of Dwayne_888

Dwayne_888

  • 1,004 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
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?
Photo of Andrew

Andrew

  • 420 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
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.
Photo of Allan

Allan, Mobile Master

  • 59,486 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
The US isn't part of the international data roaming add on
(Edited)
Photo of Andrew

Andrew

  • 420 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
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.
Photo of Dennis

Dennis, Mobile Master

  • 191,614 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
Due to their proximity, the US is it's on separate add-on with prefered pricing.
Photo of i4

i4

  • 80 Points 75 badge 2x thumb
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!
Photo of Dwayne_888

Dwayne_888

  • 1,004 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
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. 
Photo of David

David, Mobile Master

  • 89,116 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
@Dwayne_888,
I have experienced it on Telus, so it can happen on the parent carriers.
Photo of Dwayne_888

Dwayne_888

  • 1,004 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
Hmm. It only happened once with me on Rogers. I go to the USA at least once a week.
(Edited)
Photo of David

David, Mobile Master

  • 89,116 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
I thought once was too many?
Photo of Dwayne_888

Dwayne_888

  • 1,004 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
Yes, it was simply once and there was no charge without me, the customer having to do anything. Their system fail-safe was working as it should. It was many years ago. Can we say the same thing about Koodo and why it's still reoccurring, and most importantly billing the customer?
(Edited)
Photo of Dwayne_888

Dwayne_888

  • 1,004 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
I checked my usage on self-serve. I have been disabling my data altogether. I noticed an odd 0.001 MB data use when I knew my data was turned off. I wasn't roaming, but it looks like Koodo is in fact randomly leaking data.
Photo of Elinor

Elinor

  • 3,652 Points 3k badge 2x thumb
I can't imagine the headache people will have with the Easy Roam plan charging them $7 per day for every day their phone is on in the States because of  "handshakes" Telus and Koodo have known about for years and failed to rectify.   Why is there no response from an official rep on this issue?
Photo of Dwayne_888

Dwayne_888

  • 1,004 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
Yes....keep your device in Airplane mode. If you turn it on, expect to pay the $7 Roaming. There is no official support in the forums. If you noticed, you will know that there are lot of erroneous and incorrect comments. 

Once Freedom improves their network in my area (probably a couple of years), I will be switching over to them.
(Edited)
Photo of Goran

Goran, Mobile Master

  • 94,320 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
No need to revive a dead thread. If you get charged for non usage from this leaking then you can contest it rather easily. As for technical reasons behind it can't say I'm sure what's going on.
Photo of Dwayne_888

Dwayne_888

  • 1,004 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
Making people aware is never a "dead" issue. If you don't like the posts don't read them. Stop bullying people from posting. Merry Christmas!
Photo of Allan

Allan, Mobile Master

  • 59,616 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
I tell people to not revive dead threads to go encourage them to make a new one. Sometimes I won't bother looking through a thread if it's long and cluttered already. Having a fresh thread with all your information is the best way to get your answers.

I don't think Goran was "bullying people from posting" especially since he continued to help the person with their problem.
Photo of Goran

Goran, Mobile Master

  • 94,320 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
I still helped the person and informed them of a forum rule as well. It's extremely common online and Koodo is one of the most forgiving about it. I continued to help the person after informing them as well. I bullied no one.
Photo of Dennis

Dennis, Mobile Master

  • 191,918 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
bul·ly
/ˈbo͝olē/
To use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.
Photo of Andrew

Andrew

  • 420 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
This is far from a dead thread by any means and won't be until the issue is fixed.

I just returned from another trip to the US this past Saturday night and followed the same procedure I always do as outlined in my original post and once again I have to call back in and ask (beg?) for a bill credit due to supposed data roaming, despite the fact self-serve says 0.00MB.

I chose against using airplane mode since I don't want to lose the ability to receive text messages while away but having to call in every time for a bill credit shouldn't be the price I have to pay.
Photo of Lindsay Neely

Lindsay Neely

  • 70 Points
Roaming charges and what triggers the charge: any usage not just data - texting, phone calls and of course data/internet use.  Just turning off your cellular data does not turn off the roaming services.  Check your apps and make sure their updates are turned on to the update in WIFI only. Most people forget that  even if your phone is sitting on the table and you are "Not using" the phone physically, the applications update on their own. Keep in mind some Apps do not have that as an option,, user beware.  I hope this helps!
Photo of Andrew

Andrew

  • 420 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
A confusing and misleading post you have there.

Phone, text, and data roaming usage are all billed separately on your bill.

My complaint is being charged for data roaming when my data is turned off. Not voice or text message roaming charges.

You can receive the Caller ID from an incoming call free of charge while roaming if you don't answer it.
You can also receive text messages free of charge while roaming, you just can't reply.

I could use airplane mode as a surefire way to avoid charges, but I wouldn't be able to take advantage of the above 2 features provided by Koodo while roaming. That's not fair.

BTW: Auto-update is turned off for me all the time.
Photo of Chad Burr

Chad Burr, Mobile Master

  • 203,968 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
Forgive me as I didn't read this full post. What phone do you have?
Photo of Andrew

Andrew

  • 420 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
HTC 10 US Factory Unlocked
(Edited)
Photo of Dwayne_888

Dwayne_888

  • 1,004 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
  Just turning off your cellular data does not turn off the roaming services.  

Not entirely true. Data Roaming is blocked at a network level...at least with the premium cellular providers.
Photo of Dwayne_888

Dwayne_888

  • 1,004 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
I checked my usuage and data leaking is occuring every billing cycle at least once (usually only once though).

I have one event showing for 0.00 MB and another for 0.01 MB. Fortunately, this is within Canada so there is no additional charge but the issue remains and Koodo/Telus needs to get their sheet together and resolve this issue. 

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.