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Question

 How do you prevent excess international cell phone charges?

Answer

When travelling overseas and using a Consumer Cellular mobile phone, use caution. I just finished a work trip aboard a cruiseferry in Scandinavia. I was in and out of mobile phone range and have roaming enabled on my phone to text and call home. When I returned, I had over 50 minutes of incoming voice charges ($0.30 per) from a Skype number that is probably a telemarketer or scammer.

 

The thing is, my phone never rang nor was voicemail left. After a long call with CC customer service, they said that the charge begins when a foreign tower receives the call over a landline. If the signal to your phone is weak or no longer vald, it doesn't matter. You are charged for the minutes it tries to ring you.

 

CC was unwilling to correct the charges saying it is "out of their hands".  

 

My advice whren roaming abroad is to keep your phone in airplane mode until you wish to make a call or send a text. This means you can't receive calls you may want. If you wish to stay available for incoming calls, you may have to eat excess charges when telemarketers and scammers call your number.  

 

 
 
 

I too received a large phone bill with a different company while travelling overseas. I was charged for incoming text messages that I never opened. Now I either just turn the phone off or use airplane mode. I find I use my tablet more but only where there is free wifi. 

Comments
retiredtraveler

"....I find I use my tablet more but only where there is free wifi.....".

 

That's the answer. Don't use the phone. Instead, use email to communicate.

FredSmif

I recently read about a similar incident (or perhaps it was the same incident but read elsewhere).

Wife and I travel often to Canada and Philippines and have been to other countries. To save phone costs we travel with unlocked phones and get SIM cards for the local service.

 

(Wife is a real bargain shopper and our US cell phone service costs us around $20 a year for two phones (does not count the phones which were purchased separately). But we are not heavy consumers of this service...still, it's pretty cheap)

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