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Easy Roam: Understanding how you will be charged while traveling

  • 27 May 2022
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In this article you will learn about roaming charges, how to avoid unexpected roaming charges while traveling or near the US border, and information for traveling across Canada

Here is a list of topics we will be covering within this article:

 

How to avoid roaming charges while traveling or when close to the US border

Traveling to the US and internationally

When you arrive at your destination you will receive a welcome notification explaining the applicable roaming rates if you choose to use your device. This does not mean you are actually being charged for roaming.

If you’re looking to avoid roaming charges altogether, simply turn data and data roaming OFF in your mobile device’s settings and refrain from making calls, answering calls and sending any outgoing texts. Receiving incoming texts will never result in any roaming charges, as long as data and data roaming is turned OFF to avoid using mobile data for any pictures or videos that they may contain.

Note: Other ways to avoid roaming charges include: Putting your phone in airplane mode, Removing the SIM Card or Removing the free international roaming add-ons.

For more information on how to turn data and data roaming on and off in your mobile device’s settings, visit our support article.

 

Avoiding roaming charges when close to the US border

 

Sometimes if you’re close enough to the US border and the signal from neighbouring US networks is stronger than the Koodo network, your device could automatically connect to a US network as if you are roaming. If this happens, any usage may accidentally be billed as roaming. In addition, you will likely receive a Welcome SMS notification that makes it seem like you are in the US.

Note: Receiving this SMS doesn’t automatically mean you are going to get charged for roaming. We recommend waiting to see if any charges appear on your invoice before reaching out.

Here are some tips to avoid accidental roaming charges when close to the US border:

  1. Turn data roaming off in your mobile device’s settings
    Having data roaming off in your mobile device’s settings when close to the US border will help avoid accidental data roaming charges. For instructions on how to manage data roaming in your device’s settings, visit our support article.
     

  2. Manually select Koodo as your mobile network operator
    Your device is set to automatically connect to the  Koodo/TELUS network while in Canada. However, to ensure seamless service if you travel to the US this setting will also pick up the applicable US network whenever it's stronger. So if you are constantly connecting to a US network while still in Canada, you can manually select the  Koodo/TELUS network in your device’s mobile network settings to help avoid this.

Note: If you opt for a manual selection of the  Koodo/TELUS network, remember that you will need to switch back to the automatic network selection setting if you ever decide to roam in the US or internationally to ensure your service will work.

Find out how to manually select your network operator in your device’s settings.

 

Using mobile data and Wi-Fi

Using mobile data (data roaming turned ON)

Depending on if you’re using Easy Roam or pay-per-use roaming, the use of mobile data through our roaming partner’s network will be charged as follows:

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam fee will activate from data usage and will be effective until 11:59 in the time zone you are traveling

  • Data will be used from your monthly plan

If you are using pay-per-use roaming:

  • Roaming data will be used and the standard roaming data pay-per-use rate will apply.

Tip: While traveling, you can only use data if data roaming is turned on in your device’s settings. For more information, see the above section in this article about Avoiding roaming charges.

 

Using Wi-Fi while data and data roaming is turned OFF

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam daily fee will not activate

  • No charges apply

If you  are using pay-per-use roaming:

  • No charges apply

Important: If you’re using Wi-Fi while roaming and both data and data roaming are turned ON in your mobile device’s settings, then roaming data charges may apply if the Wi-Fi signal weakens or disconnects. The charges will depend on if you have Easy Roam or pay-per-use, just like when you’re using mobile data through our roaming partner’s network.

Search your travel destination at koodo.com/payperuse to confirm the standard roaming pay-per-use rates.

 

Text and instant messaging

Depending on if you’re using Easy Roam or pay-per-use roaming,  this is how the use of text and instant messaging through our roaming partner’s network will be charged.

 

Receive incoming texts from any number (no pictures or videos)

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam daily fee will not activate

  • No charges apply

If you are using pay-per-use roaming:

  • No charges apply

 

Send outgoing texts to any mobile phone number in the world (no pictures or videos)

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam daily fee will activate and will be effective until 11:59 in the time zone you are traveling.

  • Outgoing texts will be used from your monthly plan

If you are using pay-per-use roaming:

 

Send or receive texts containing pictures or videos

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam fee will activate and will be effective until 11:59 in the time zone you are traveling.

  • Data will be used from your monthly plan

  • If outgoing, a text will be used from your monthly rate plan

If you are using pay-per-use roaming:

  • If outgoing, the standard roaming pay-per-use rate will apply for every 160 characters

  • Roaming data will be used and the standard roaming data pay-per-use rate will apply

 

Using instant messaging, like iMessage for iPhone and WhatsApp

This information applies for use of instant messaging over our roaming partner’s mobile network, and not Wi-Fi:

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam fee will activate from data usage and will be effective until 11:59 in the time zone you are traveling.

  • Data will be used from your monthly plan

If you are using pay-per-use roaming:

  • Roaming data will be used and the standard roaming data pay-per-use rate will apply

Tip: Picture/video messages and instant messaging apps require a data connection to work. They will not work if data and data roaming is turned off and you’re not connected to Wi-Fi. You can still use instant message apps on Wi-Fi to avoid any roaming charges. If you’re using Wi-Fi, just ensure data and data roaming is turned off in your mobile device’s settings to avoid accidental data charges.

Premium and subscription SMS numbers are always excluded and will be billed at the standard roaming pay-per-use rate for every 160 characters.

Search your travel destination at koodo.com/payperuse to confirm the standard roaming pay-per-use rates.

 

When using iMessage over a Wi-Fi connection

iMessage for iPhones will attempt to send messages to other iPhone users using a data connection. However, if the data connection for your device or the recipient is too weak to send/receive the message over data, then the message will be sent as a normal text message by default. If this happens you will be subject to the applicable roaming charges for sending an outgoing text, depending if you have Easy Roam or are using pay-per-use rates.

To avoid accidentally sending text messages to other iPhone users when using iMessage, follow these steps:

  1. Select Settings

  2. Scroll down and select Messages

  3. Toggle Send as SMS OFF
     

Making and receiving phone calls

Calling numbers in Canada and within your current destination, or answering any call

This information applies if you call any Canadian phone number (nationwide), call a phone number within your current travel destination (e.g., from US to US, nationwide) or answer a call from any phone number.

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam fee will activate from voice usage and will be effective until 11:59 in the time zone you are traveling.

  • Minutes will be used from your monthly plan

If you are using pay-per-use roaming:

  • The standard roaming pay-per-use rate will apply for each minute of usage

 

What’s not included with Easy Roam

  • Easy Roam can’t be used on cruise ships, airplanes, or other satellite locations. Pay-per-use rates will apply.

  • Calls to North American toll-free exchanges (1-800, 844, 855, 866, 877, and 888) from outside of North America. These numbers are charged at the roaming pay-per-use overage rate.

  • International toll-free numbers. These numbers are charged at the international roaming pay-per-use rate.

  • 411, 511, and premium/subscription numbers -  you'll be charged a pay-per-use roaming rate for these

  • Phone calls to numbers that are outside Canada and outside the country you're calling from (e.g., from England to US). These calls will be charged the roaming pay-per-use rate for the country from which you're calling

  • The following US phone numbers: Sanger, California (559-726-XXXX) Carroll, Iowa (712-775-XXXX) Lake Park, Iowa (712-432-XXXX) Oglala, South Dakota (605-562-XXXX) Redfield, South Dakota (605-475-XXXX)
     

Calling to check your voicemail

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam fee will activate from voice usage and will be effective until 11:59 in the time zone you are traveling

  • Minutes will not be used from your monthly plan

If you are using pay-per-use roaming:

  • The standard roaming pay-per-use rate will apply for each minute of usage

Heads up! Voicemail notifications may not be available in all travel services areas. 

Tip:  You can avoid the Easy Roam fee by using a landline to call your Voicemail. How? 

  1. Dial 10-digit handset number (local). or 1 + 10-digit handset number (if long distance).

  2. Press * to interrupt greeting.

  3. Enter password.

  4. Follow the voice prompts.

Note: Long distance charges will apply on the landline phone if dialing long distance to retrieve messages.

 

Scheduling a callback through Koodo Assist to your Koodo phone

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam daily fee will not activate

  • No charges apply

If you are using pay-per-use roaming:

  • No charges apply

Note: While roaming, you’ll need to be connected to Wi-Fi in order to schedule a callback through Koodo Assist without triggering  the daily Easy Roam fee 

 

Monitoring roaming usage

Data usage with Easy Roam can be monitored by logging into Self Serve. For more information on monitoring data usage and the data notifications, you will receive while traveling, visit our support article.

 

Roaming on a cruise ship or in-flight

Easy Roam can’t be used on cruise ships, airplanes, or other satellite locations. Pay-per-use rates will apply.

Related Articles

Set-up and tips for traveling with your mobile device
How to place calls when traveling
Troubleshoot mobile phone problems when traveling


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