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03-04-2013, 11:03 AM #1
Father Receives Unintentional $22,000 Data Roaming Bill
Just last week, two parents in the U.K. had received an bill from the App Store of about $2500 because their six-year-old boy had unintentionally purchased an excessive amount of in-app purchases in a short amount of time from a free App Store game after the parents had mistakenly entered their Apple ID password so the free App Store game could be downloaded. Apple later refunded the accidental purchases.
Another interesting story from a family being charged a huge sum of money by accident comes to us this Monday afternoon. A father in B.C., named Matt Buie, has been whacked upside the head with a staggering $22,000 data-roaming bill after his 11-year-old son spent several hours streaming YouTube videos.
According to CBC, the father and son were on vacation in Mexico, and the son had experienced a sunburn that made it uncomfortable for him to go outside. Because of this, the child to stayed in the hotel room, out of the sun. While the child was in the hotel room for the three days he was there for, he found that the iPhone he had in his possession would be a good source of entertainment.
The child played all kinds of iPhone games, however he had also opted to watch some YouTube videos to pass the time, which require an active Internet connection. Before going on the vacation, employees at an Apple Store had recommended to the father that the iPhone remain in Airplane Mode over the course of the vacation to keep the phone from guzzling roaming data while on vacation. To the father's dismay, while in the hotel room, the child had switched off Airplane Mode.
When everything was said and done, the father received a bill accounting for about 700MB of roaming data, which came out to be about $22,000. Shocked, the father got in touch with Fido (the carrier the family was using) to try and negotiate a way out of it. After not being satisfied with Fido’s offer to bring the cost down to $2,200, the father settled to pay $500 for the accidental roaming data charges.
CBC has a video interview with the father that you can watch here.
One thing we can all learn from this experience is that data roaming is very, very expensive, and if we ever give our children an iOS device while on vacation, don't enter any Apple ID passwords, and remove the SIM card!
Last edited by Anthony Bouchard; 03-04-2013 at 11:20 AM.
03-04-2013, 11:10 AM #2
$22000 for 700mb? And I thought AT&T's prices were outrageous!
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03-04-2013, 11:21 AM #3
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03-04-2013, 11:26 AM #4
The cost is always higher when your out of your home country due to the signal passing through possibly several carriers. When I go to Jamaica I just buy a sim card from one of their service providers like Lime. Much cheaper and easier. I also had a friend who took a cruise that was within sight of the US shore so he thought he was connected to land based towers from his provider. What he neglected to remember that the ship has their own ship-wide service that he was connected to by default. He received a $550 bill for his usage. He tried to fight it but it was disclosed prior to leaving in the literature. Live & learn I guess.
03-04-2013, 11:48 AM #5
$31.43 per mega byte????? OH MY GOD!! That is INSANE! And this is why we don't give children electronics.
03-04-2013, 12:30 PM #6
Perhaps the title was meant to be 2500..?
03-04-2013, 12:43 PM #7
03-04-2013, 01:20 PM #8
I don't care where you are that kind of highway robbery for mb's of data is outrageous.
03-04-2013, 01:33 PM #9
I don't get why parents don't just teach their children the cost of these things... Just teach them how expensive it is, and if they neglect to care, take the phone or SIM card away. I would bet this kid had no punishment for this.
03-04-2013, 01:51 PM #10
Airplane mode is not enough. I turn off international data roaming when I am visiting other countries.
Airplane mode on + wifi on + hotel wifi = saving $$$
03-04-2013, 02:14 PM #11
A better idea would probably be to take out the SIM card.
03-04-2013, 10:41 PM #12
I was also surprised by receiving a $7,000 bill for 2 days of roaming.
I have to go to Honduras every month and a half on business for the past 5 years.
My carrier is Movistar and there had never been any roaming in Honduras.
All of a sudden after getting back from a 2 day trip I was greeted with a $7,000 roaming bill.
Turns out all of a sudden now there is roaming in Honduras which I was never made aware of or informed in any way.
I did not use my phone at all but my phone was checking emails and receiving notifications automatially. So even while I was sleeping phone was running up the roaming bill.
Luckily I have a friend who works at Movistar and finally settled the bill for $250.
Now, Movistar sends an sms whenever you're roaming to let you know of unintentional charges.
03-05-2013, 01:33 PM #13
Yeah, European networks send you a message when you're roaming to let you know about the data and call charges. All you need to do is ensure your data roaming is turned off when make it impossible for your phone to use cellular data outside your home network. Simple
03-05-2013, 05:51 PM #14
So the father says to his son: "Son, it's time you got a job. That phone is in your name, and you'll be working for two years to pay that off."
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03-05-2013, 06:28 PM #15
03-05-2013, 06:39 PM #16
03-29-2013, 12:47 PM #17