Cell Phones

Text Message Roaming Charges Warning

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  • Jul 27th, 2015 11:24 am
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[OP]
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Dec 25, 2005
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Text Message Roaming Charges Warning

So, the story is that a family member was traveling and they bought a roaming pack before they left which came with a bundle of text messages. They carefully counted the text messages they used while abroad, but weren't aware that > 160 character messages count as multiple messages, since this happens seamlessly behind the scenes. As a result, they ended up owing ~$40 in roaming charges. It's nothing like the $X,000 bills that people have received, but a good warning nonetheless. Those that aren't technically savvy probably aren't aware of the character limit, and it's not really something that would be top of mind.

Hopefully this helps someone.
26 replies
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Jun 12, 2015
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Ontario
Seriously... Tele Com are now charging you by the characters? Just take my wallet already why don't you. While you're at it would you like my first born
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Feb 24, 2007
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Dynasty12345 wrote: Seriously... Tele Com are now charging you by the characters? Just take my wallet already why don't you. While you're at it would you like my first born
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Nov 25, 2010
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Abbottabad
I blame OP's family member.

Ignorance is not an excuse. Everyone knows that once you exceed 160 characters the message is split into two. It even shows 1/2 or 2/2 messages. This is common sense for gods sake. For once I am sticking up for Robelus.
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Jun 22, 2006
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160 character text message? Might as well go to a wifi spot and send an email if you want to write an in-depth story to someone.
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Jan 13, 2005
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5 text messages in Jamaica $100
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Feb 9, 2003
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Must have been quite the message. 60c per text, must have been 70 extra messages. 160 characters per, means 10000 characters. 10k characters at 7 characters per word is 1400 words. 250 words per page (double spaced) is 6 pages. What was the essay about?
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Jan 22, 2003
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Austin/Markham
Odd, I thought txt msgs are free when roaming?
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Nov 10, 2013
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webdoctors wrote: Odd, I thought txt msgs are free when roaming?
Seriously? Why would be it be free especially if roaming on foreign network.
[OP]
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Dec 25, 2005
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iamskyhigh wrote: I blame OP's family member. Ignorance is not an excuse. Everyone knows that once you exceed 160 characters the message is split into two. It even shows 1/2 or 2/2 messages. This is common sense for gods sake. For once I am sticking up for Robelus.
Nobody's placing blame - this is just a PSA. I can gurantee you not everyone know about the limit, though; especially those not tech savvy.

Not all phones show the 1/2 or 2/2 messages; my phone doesn't either.
JAGpilot wrote: 160 character text message? Might as well go to a wifi spot and send an email if you want to write an in-depth story to someone.
160 characters isn't that long. Your message was a 128 characters; hardly an in-depth story. I did suggest they use email, but it was too complicated :) We are basically talking about a senior citizen here.
i6s1 wrote: Must have been quite the message. 60c per text, must have been 70 extra messages. 160 characters per, means 10000 characters. 10k characters at 7 characters per word is 1400 words. 250 words per page (double spaced) is 6 pages. What was the essay about?
I'm sure it wasn't one giant text message lol. It was a number of messages over the course of a vacation.
webdoctors wrote: Odd, I thought txt msgs are free when roaming?
Received text messages are usually free, but sent messages are not.
[OP]
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Dec 25, 2005
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sandikosh wrote: Next time buy your family members glasses so they can read.
iPhones don't have that handy little "2 SMS" notification. Even the character count is a toggle option. I shall advise Apple to be more roaming friendly. Android is the clear winner in this category...
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Oct 19, 2012
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Nobody here has heard of Whatspp or even Facebook chat for heaven's sakes?
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Just an aside...I just found out that a 1-800 number while on a roaming package is not free either. I had a credit card problem while in the US and had to call the 1-800 number and was put on hold for 5 minutes then it took another 15 or so to sort out the problem. A little while later I made a call and was informed that my package had exceeded it's limits.
I did not know this and could not find it written anywhere and argued the additional charges. They then removed the additional charges.
[OP]
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Dec 25, 2005
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Pete_Coach wrote: Just an aside...I just found out that a 1-800 number while on a roaming package is not free either. I had a credit card problem while in the US and had to call the 1-800 number and was put on hold for 5 minutes then it took another 15 or so to sort out the problem. A little while later I made a call and was informed that my package had exceeded it's limits.
I did not know this and could not find it written anywhere and argued the additional charges. They then removed the additional charges.
I know someone who had the same happen. They had a US bundle with minutes, but for whatever reason 1-800 numbers aren't included in those minutes. It was a conference call so they ended up with a hefty bill.
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Pete_Coach wrote: Just an aside...I just found out that a 1-800 number while on a roaming package is not free either. I had a credit card problem while in the US and had to call the 1-800 number and was put on hold for 5 minutes then it took another 15 or so to sort out the problem. A little while later I made a call and was informed that my package had exceeded it's limits.
I did not know this and could not find it written anywhere and argued the additional charges. They then removed the additional charges.
Question. You were using foreign towers to connect your phone to and you didn't think you would be roaming calling a 1800 number even though you werent using your phone on your home network ?
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Cellphone providers needs to take customer service another step. Everytime they sell a phone, they should teach the customer the ins and outs of using it. How to place a call. How to receive a call. How to send a text message. How to change wallpapers....etc. This way the customer is no longer ignorant and cannot blame the provider when something doesn't go their way.
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x-batman wrote: Question. You were using foreign towers to connect your phone to and you didn't think you would be roaming calling a 1800 number even though you werent using your phone on your home network ?
I am not sure what you are trying to get at or the point you are trying to make but, as I said in my post, I had a roaming package. Of course it was a foreign tower...I said I was in the US. The reason to buy a package is so you can make calls.
The point I was trying to convey, for those that do not know, 1-800 numbers are not toll free when using the packages they sell. 1-800 numbers are toll free everywhere including in the US, but not on roaming packages.

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