During a recent European vacation, iPhone in Canada reader, Andre, explained how upon arriving and swapping SIM cards for local ones, his Telus accounts were charged for GPRS data roaming—despite data roaming being disabled.
Andre says he is diligent in disabling roaming on both of his iPhones ahead of travel. To his surprise, his accounts were charged $0.10 and $0.20 for “International GPRS Data Roaming”. GPRS network technology was prevalent before EDGE networks, with the latter the predecessor to 3G networks.
After chatting with Telus support, the company says “these charges most likely happened before you changed SIM cards.” The support representative immediately credited the $0.30 to Andre’s account.
The Telus representative says Andre’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 “did connect with the network”, while Andre says both phones had data roaming disabled within cellular data options, citing he was 100% confident it was turned off, after a previous “bad experience” travelling near the U.S. border while in Canada.
Telus responded, “it’s still possible that the phone connects to the network for other basic operations such as picture messages or calls which may create these small charges.”
Andre replied no messages were sent and “we got off the plane and the only activity was that Telus sent us a welcome message about roaming rates, and we immediately switched the SIMs.”
The Telus rep suggested, “the best way to avoid these charges while travelling abroad is to put the phone into airplane mode.” The rep again apologizes and repeats the charges were credited as a “goodwill gesture.”
Andre explains his data roaming is always disabled and was turned off before and after arriving in Europe. He says other Telus customers need to know they may be charged for GPRS roaming data, even if data roaming is disabled and refuted the company’s lack of explanation for why he was billed.
Back in January 2017, one Telus customer experienced a similar issue being charged for data even though cellular data was disabled.
Have you ever been charged for data roaming by Telus, even though the setting has been turned off? We’ve reached out to Telus for comment on the issue and will update this story accordingly.