iPhone Owners Slapped With Hefty Bills for Mystery Roaming Charges

Did you rack up charges on your iPhone when you went overseas—without meaning to? According to anecdotal evidence collected by the LA Times, iPhone users may have pricey data roaming options switched on by default, causing them to rack up hefty fees when traveling overseas. Apple denies that the "data roaming" option, located in the phone's Network preferences, is turned on by default. Really? Then why are so many people reporting excessive charges?

This matter is dear to my heart: Last spring I returned from Mexico City with a $200 data charge from AT&T waiting for me in New York. I hadn't changed any of my settings on my iPhone, and didn't willfully enable "data roaming." In fact, just the word "roaming" is enough to repel anyone who had a cell phone ten years ago—it connotes big fees.

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Other iPhone oddities have made news lately. According to Gizmodo, the Apple Genius bars are accustomed to seeing a 30% call-drop rate on the average iPhone—as recently as a week ago. Outrageously, AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega has hinted that iPhone users' gluttonous data usage might prompt the company to cap their "unlimited" data packages. Because they have problems, we have to dig deeper or make do with less?

At least one of the plaintive iPhone users mentioned in the LA Times piece was refunded for his roaming charge.

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  • Deborah O'Shea

    I have experienced the same thing. I live in Buffalo, NY and I go to Canada frequently -- it's just 10 minutes away from my downtown office. My bills have been outrageous. I've been in and out of AT&T offices trying to figure out what's going on. I've changed my billing plan to unlimited for almost everything, and I never, ever turn roaming "on" anymore. It's very frustrating -- and expensive!

  • Harrison Quak

    Over charging can upset even the most loyal customers who rarely shift their service provider.
    Such issues are to be addressed with utmost importance.Much is at stake.

  • Justin Wanajrat

    This not only happened to US AT&T customers. Here in Thailand AIS carrier does the same thing. Even though they are not iPhone carriers. They will charge customers using an iPhone ridiculous data plans.