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$200 charge for international usage while phone in Airplane Mode
Ward2020
Miembro

I was always under the impression that Wi-Fi calling is free. I've traveled to Bermuda multiple times over the years, and this is what I do every single time, I never had an issue until recently:

before leaving US, I set my iPhone to airplane mode. 

upon arriving @ place of stay in Bermuda, I turn on my Wi-Fi, with phone still set to airplane mode. (So wifi calling is on as well) I did not purchase the travel pass,  as in the past I used Wi-Fi calling only and never incurred a charge. 

after returning to the US, I get a bill with 'international charges' equaling roughly $200.  I spoke with two customer service reps that told me that a charge or (noncharge) is dependent on the recipient's phone, whether their phone is using Wi-Fi or their cellular data.

(FYI all of my calls were to US numbers)

So according to them, if my ‘friend’s’ phone was using Wi-Fi/ had wifi calling capability,  my call to them would be free.

If they aren’t connected to wifi/unable to use wifi calling, and send me a text message, then I would be charged for it. 

I asked one of the reps, ' if my friend is sitting at home with wifi, and also has their cellular network available, and with my phone in airplane mode, I use my Wifi to call them, which will their phone prefer to connect with?' Of course the answer involved what kind of phone it was how strong of a Wi-Fi service, if there was a Wi-Fi boost on the phone or not. 

does this seem right to anyone? Does it seem fair that what I was told is correct, that Wi-Fi calling can even be called free.. when it is dependent on so many other variables?
when I made my first wifi call from the island, I was not given a prompt saying that data charges may be incurred (as the support page said I should have been prompted) .. so much of this seems messed up 😒 

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Re: $200 charge for international usage while phone in Airplane Mode
mama23dogs
Líder Sénior

wi-Fi calling is just another way of connecting to Verizon wireless service.
Wi-Fi calling is free if you are calling numbers that were free if you were in the United States and using regular cellular connection.

example:

If you are in the United States and you call with cellular or Wifi calling to France you are billed long distance charge. 
if you are in France and you use cellular to call the United States, or a local number you are billed for roaming.

if you are in France and you use Wi-Fi calling to call the United States the call is free.
if you are in France and you use Wi-Fi calling to call a local number (France) it’s long distance.  

whether you are billed for long-distance or roaming has absolutely nothing to do with whether the other person is also Wifi calling.  It has to do with their number being a US number, or NOT.

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Re: $200 charge for international usage while phone in Airplane Mode
Ward2020
Miembro

Thanks for the info. I was out of country , with my US phone (cellular data turned off) calling an US # via wifi calling.  So what you're saying also contradicts what these reps have told me… Do I keep calling them? I don't like getting nasty but perhaps I've been too nice so far... 😣

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Re: $200 charge for international usage while phone in Airplane Mode
mama23dogs
Líder Sénior

@Ward2020 

You can try, but unlikely you’ll have success because:

1).  They wouldn't even know where you were Unless you connected to another network. Its the only way they know you weren't using verizon and roaming or using long distance.
2)  Its next to impossible to say you didn't, when you did.   And another carrier sent Verizon notice of charges, which they passed to you.  
   The only explanation is you were not in airplane mode, or you called a local  number.  You bill should show which in the call logs.  
    

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Re: $200 charge for international usage while phone in Airplane Mode
mama23dogs
Líder Sénior

All this that you were told:  


@Ward2020 wrote:

.  I spoke with two customer service reps that told me that a charge or (noncharge) is dependent on the recipient’s phone, whether their phone is using Wi-Fi or their cellular data.  🗑

(FYI all of my calls were to US numbers)

So according to them, if my ‘friend’s’ phone was using Wi-Fi/ had wifi calling capability,  my call to them would be free.     🗑

If they aren’t connected to wifi/unable to use wifi calling, and send me a text message, then I would be charged for it.    🗑

I asked one of the reps, ' if my friend is sitting at home with wifi, and also has their cellular network available, and with my phone in airplane mode, I use my Wifi to call them, which will their phone prefer to connect with?' Of course the answer involved what kind of phone it was how strong of a Wi-Fi service, if there was a Wi-Fi boost on the phone or not.  🗑

 ↗️ Complete garbage.  🗑


It entirely depends on how YOUR phone connects and to what network.  If you are wifi calling, its noted on your bill as a Wifi call, and to a US number, you aren't charged.  

 

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Re: $200 charge for international usage while phone in Airplane Mode
vzw_customer_support
Asistencia al cliente

I'm sorry for any inconvenience this has caused, Ward2020. I know how important the Wi-Fi calling feature is to stay connected with friends and family. I want to get a second opinion on this situation and look into this further. I sent you a Private Note so we can continue working on this together.

 

GersonG_VZW

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Re: $200 charge for international usage while phone in Airplane Mode
vzw_customer_support
Asistencia al cliente

We would like to take a closer look at this matter and see why you were billed for international calls. Please reply to the Private Note we sent earlier to better assist.

 

VictorC_VZW

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Re: $200 charge for international usage while phone in Airplane Mode
daleo28
Miembro

Oh it keeps getting better. I received a text today telling me that "a travel pass session has been initiated..."  Said I will be charged 5 dollars per day.  No other info.  Well get this....I was well aware that my sons phone was on the USA side of Niagra Falls.  Spoke to him from there.  According to Nikki of Verizon customer service. Because he was so close to the Canadian Border she said he most likely connected to a tower on the Canadian side and that automatically initiated the "Travel Pass" at 5 dollars per day.

Are you kidding me?  With today's technology and pinpoint location that is clearly a business practice that is illegal.  Think of all the people who pay the 5 dollars because they don't have time to call and dispute!  Imagine the profits on that!  And they can't take it off the bill because it wasn't billed yet?  What?  I got a text saying it was billed so get rid of it.  Said I have to call back when i receive the bill with that charge!  That my friends is the true definition of THEFT.  Taking money from another without the owners consent because they can't tell someone's location?  garbage

 

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Re: $200 charge for international usage while phone in Airplane Mode
mama23dogs
Líder Sénior

@daleo28 wrote:

Oh it keeps getting better. I received a text today telling me that "a travel pass session has been initiated..."  Said I will be charged 5 dollars per day.  No other info.  Well get this....I was well aware that my sons phone was on the USA side of Niagra Falls.  Spoke to him from there.  According to Nikki of Verizon customer service. Because he was so close to the Canadian Border she said he most likely connected to a tower on the Canadian side and that automatically initiated the "Travel Pass" at 5 dollars per day.

Are you kidding me?  With today's technology and pinpoint location that is clearly a business practice that is illegal.  Think of all the people who pay the 5 dollars because they don't have time to call and dispute!  Imagine the profits on that!  And they can't take it off the bill because it wasn't billed yet?  What?  I got a text saying it was billed so get rid of it.  Said I have to call back when i receive the bill with that charge!  That my friends is the true definition of THEFT.  Taking money from another without the owners consent because they can't tell someone's location?  garbage

 


That is NOT how cell phones work.  It does not matter where you are located. What matters is what cell tower his phone connected to.  GPS is irrelevant..  In fact the only way Verizon knows Where you are, is by the tower the phone connects to.  I live in Connecticut, and the tower that serves my home area is in Massachusetts.  There are people who live on both the Mexicans and the Canadian border who have to either control their phone, or choose a provider that will not charge them extra for constantly roaming on towers on the non-US side of the border.
    There is technology to prevent your phone from connecting to foreign towers, it is in your phone, and entirely under the users control. It is a simple switch that prevents the phone from roaming.  
     There is absolutely nothing illegal about billing you correctly for service that was used in another country.

     You not understanding how your cell phone works is not Verizon‘s fault.   

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Re: $200 charge for international usage while phone in Airplane Mode
NewOldcustomer

@daleo28 wrote:

Are you kidding me?  With today's technology and pinpoint location that is clearly a business practice that is illegal. 

Not true, it's a charge because the phone connected to a non- Verizon, non US tower.  You're thinking about GPS, which has nothing to do with how roaming works.  

 

Think of all the people who pay the 5 dollars because they don't have time to call and dispute!  Imagine the profits on that! 

For the OTHER carrier?  Verizon and AT&T have to PAY the other carrier for your use.  

And they can't take it off the bill because it wasn't billed yet?  What?

Irrelevant, it’s a legitimate charge.  

  I got a text saying it was billed so get rid of it.  Said I have to call back when i receive the bill with that charge! 

That my friends is the true definition of THEFT.  Taking money from another without the owners consent because they can't tell someone's location?  garbage

No, it's a charge for services your sons phone used that were provided by another carrier.  That carrier has billed Verizon, and Verizon has passed the bill on to you. Fortunately you did have travel pass or the cost would have been considerably more.  

 


You and your son might want to learn how to prevent roaming.  It's up to you, not Your carrier.  Or buy a plan that includes free roaming in Mexico and Canada like all of AT&T's current plans.  AT&T offers free roaming in Canada and Mexico on most plans because they own ATT Mexico, and they are in a partnership with Rogers in Canada.  

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