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Going on a cruise? Make sure to turn your phone off.

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by swaldrop, May 18, 2010.

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  1. swaldrop
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    swaldrop New Member

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    Here's the story...

    I have my mom on our plan and got her an Eris a while back. Last month I sent her and an aunt on a cruise to the Caribean. Never heard from my mom once, she never posted on her FB, no emails, calls, nothing. No problem. When she got back she reported that her phone never worked (as far as signal) while she was gone. Still, no problem and expected behavior.

    Yesterday I log on to my Verizon account and see that next months bill is $618. WTF? Looking further I see that her line was billed $355 for roaming data charges while on the cruise. This I assume is a mistake and after confirming from my mom that she used the phone as nothing more than a time piece while on the cruise, I call Verizon to quickly take care of the issue.

    This is where it all goes a bit wrong. The CS agent on the phone refuses to believe that the phone wasn't used and that these are valid charges. The most she could offer would be a $75 credit. Now, I am not one to ever claim entitlement, but this is ridiculous. I have been a customer for about 10 years, never late, spend way too much for service anyhow and yet I am still going to be charged for something that wasn't used?

    I have been pretty loyal to Verizon and use every service they currently offer. That is all about to change however. The only way I will pay that bill is with an addition ETF and porting the numbers to another provider.

    Couple questions... Anyone know a voice of reason who can actually take care of this issue?

    Anyone have any experience with Sprint? That EVO looks pretty good and this may just be the push I needed to leave Big Red.
  2. mikes
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    mikes New Member

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    The Motorola Droid has a setting specifically for this: settings/wireless & networks/mobile networks/data roaming (connect to data services when roaming) Turn it off if you don't want to pay roaming charges for data.

    BTW, Verizon isn't just making things up. Unless your mom's phone connected while on the cruise, there's no way the roaming system would have the information to bill back to Verizon. Verizon is unlikely to reverse the charges, because they are getting charged by the other systems on which she roamed, so they have real money in the game.
  3. swaldrop
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    swaldrop New Member

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    I have no doubt that there must have been something in the background that was pulling data. However, it was not something that was initiated by the user. This should be evident to the CS agent.

    What I wanted was something along the lines of... 'Oh, no problem. We will go ahead and remove these charges for you as it was obviously a mistake and the phone was not in use'. Had I just signed up a month ago, maybe the conversation should have ended the way it did. But that just isn't the case.

    I have 3 Droid Eris for sale, all in great shape. I just need to cover the $600 or so in ETFs.
  4. bamfsig45
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    bamfsig45 New Member

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    Just got back off a cruise last month to the caribbean. Before I left I called Verizon and explored the options. They told me that I could sign up for the international roaming plan (I think that is what its called) for 60.00 and they would cancel it when I got back and pro-rate it. Came out to like 15.00 for the week (me and my wife both did it so 30.00). The Ship I was on had a 1x tower that I was able to connect to while out to sea and each port of call had 3g (Mexico, Caymen Islands, Jamaica). With the data plan I bought I had no worries of that high bill.

    Phone calls were still a per minute charge (like 2.99 per min on ship, much cheaper on shore though if an emergency happened) but data was all included.
  5. swaldrop
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    swaldrop New Member

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    Great idea if the phone was to be used.
  6. garrett
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    garrett Beta Team Theme Developer Developer

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    everyone needs to remember even if the phone is never used it constantly stays in touch with the google sync servers.

    so with these phones data is constantly being sent back and forth so this is where the charges came from. So in this case the customer service rep was correct, now she should have explained this instead of basically calling you a liar.

    All cruise ships have some sort of cell service none of which are run by Verizon(AFAIK) so there will be roaming charges even if your phone sits in a bag the entire trip. The only way to avoid this is to turn your phone off, leave it at home, use airplane mode, turn off roaming, or activate international roaming.
  7. mikes
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    mikes New Member

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    That's a good idea, since smartphones obviously aren't for you.

    See, with a smartphone, any number of applications can use the data connection at any time. Gmail does this, email does this, if you leave the web browser pointing to Google, that will do it too. And that's just the built in apps. There are settings which control that, too (background data and auto-sync).

    So, the phones and applications are made for "always connected" use - they are expected to make data connections without being "initiated by the user."

    Since you don't want that, you shouldn't have a smartphone, or you should learn enough about them that you understand how to control the features.
  8. swaldrop
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    swaldrop New Member

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    ...Says the Droid/Verizon employee fan boy.

    Did you miss the original post? I accept the fact that there must have been something pulling data. However, my MOM was not aware. So, as a company who is making strides to take care of their customers, I believe that Verizon should be able to tell what kind of data was being used and make concessions. If not, I'll chalk it up as a learning experience and move to a different carrier. Did you want one of my Eris phones to add to your shrine? Make me an offer.
  9. JohnAP2
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    JohnAP2 New Member

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    I don't think any carrier would budge on this issue. I think the learning experience isn't to switch carriers, but to make sure you take care of the roaming data issue before ever leaving. Not being aware isn't an excuse any more than getting caught speeding and saying you didn't know the speed limit...
  10. mikes
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    mikes New Member

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    Oh, in other words, you don't want to take responsibility for your actions (or those of your mom). Verizon is completely upfront about roaming charges. It's all spelled out in the contract you accepted when you got service. That you got your mom a smartphone, and put her on your contract, but didn't bother to teach her what it's all about is your problem, not Verizon's. You have no argument that the charges are unjust in any way. It all amounts to whining about not wanting to take responsibility.

    It is offensive that you would expect Verizon to refund completely legitimate charges, and therefore pass the cost of your actions on to other customers. I am glad that they are taking care of the vast majority of their customers by not passing such costs on.

    BTW, exactly how would you propose that VZW "tell what kind of data was being used" when it is roaming usage, on a completely different carrier's network? In addition to not knowing what smartphones are intended for, and how they work, you don't seem to know what roaming is, either. Finally, data charges are not based on "the kind of data," as you imply they should be.
  11. vthokies1996
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    vthokies1996 New Member

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    Please do not take this as an attack. It is not. But if I had someone on my phone plan, who may not know all the ins and outs of a smartphone, and I knew that person was going on a cruise, I would explain to them the importance of either getting an international roaming plan while on the cruise, enabling airplane mode/turning off roaming, and/or just leaving it at home. Explaining to them, failure to do so could result in a huge bill. Also if she wasn't planning on using the phone while on the cruise, excpet for use as a time piece, why take it in the first place? I don't think Verizon should eat the cost just because your mom didn't know about roaming.
  12. littlerick
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    littlerick New Member

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    so to shorten the story, its verizons fault your mom didnt know how to turn off roaming data... did i miss something or is that pretty much it? should they have paid for the cruise too, you know to make sure every customer is happy. it just amazes me that people think others should pay for there mistakes. your mom made a mistake, not verizon.
  13. peterjariel
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    peterjariel New Member

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    Well for me I want to say thank you. Cause even though I know this phone is always pulling data, I would of never remembered that in a CRUISE, in fact that would be the last thing on my mind. So I agree with the op. Now that I read this thread it probably won't be the last thing on my mind I'm sure it'll be the first before I get on that ship lol.
  14. swaldrop
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    swaldrop New Member

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    Winner! You got it.

    Look, all valid points. When I was on the phone I was completely transparent with the fact that I understood that the phone was pulling data.

    The reality is, these phones are being used by normal people, not just dorks who live on web forums. This is where I take issue. When I explained the circumstances, as a long time customer, I believe that I should have been taken care of. If not, then fine. I will take my business elsewhere.
  15. solorca
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    solorca New Member

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    Sorry, but your mom is at fault here. She had the phone, kept it on, and let mobile data on (which connects and updates). Every cruise ship clearly has information on their data and mobile charges, and a simple call to Verizon prior to leaving would have easily cleared it up.

    Ignorance is not an excuse. I'm not a Verizon apologist, but in this case, I have to take their side.

    I just returned from a cruise about two weeks ago, and it was plainly obvious at the port (through multiple signs, statements, etc.) that there could be charges. In fact, the documents that you sign prior to getting on the ship address that very issue as well. I don't know for sure what cruise ship she was on, but I know that it's similar for Royal Carribean, Carnival, and Celebrity, all of which I've been on.
  16. pc747
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    pc747 Administrator Staff Member

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    Even if it was the Ops mother's fault, verizon could be better about it as far as customer service is concerned. It is an honest mistake and they can try to work something out.
    If they know they have "an International Data Service", then be customer friendly and just charge them what that rate would be for the trip. That is what good customer service would do.
    I can see in away why the op would be angry considering the circumstances. Now I am not, and I do not think the op is, saying the mother is not with out responsibility. That is the one negative about vzw, they gouge you to death.

    Op try to see if you can reason with someone. What may help is you telling theom you will downgrade all your smart phone lines for basic call plan.
  17. peterjariel
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    peterjariel New Member

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    I mean seriousely 355 bucks is like pocket change for VZW. And now they r goin to loose thousands if the op goes to another carrier.
  18. pyro6128
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    pyro6128 New Member

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    Knowing how your phone works and what it can do doesn't make you a dork. It makes you a person that doesn't get blasted with a $355 roaming charge for not knowing any better, or for not informing the other party on your plan of how it works. You would have saved a lot of money had you just bought her a cheap casio watch or something haha.
  19. bamfsig45
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    bamfsig45 New Member

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    Really the only person losing out is the person who sells their phone, pays etf's and switches to another carrier. This wont even be a blip on Verizons Radar.
  20. swaldrop
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    swaldrop New Member

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    True that and Verizon knows it. This is why it's silly to try and maintain any sense of loyalty. It's a wash for me as far as cost to get in to a new contract. I will however save quite a bit monthly.
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