03-08-2010 04:48:39 PM
03-08-2010 05:19:02 PM
I live close to the Canadian border in Detroit. When I am working downtown, I am under a two blocks from the border working in a tower with a window looking into Canada.
I can manually lock my phone to a particular network (e.g. ATT, not Rogers, Bell, or Telus). I'm not sure if you can do it with an iPhone, but when I cross the border (more than a couple of blocks), I set my phone to automatic. I can usually hold an ATT signal two miles into Canada that way as well.
03-09-2010 09:22:11 AM - edited 03-09-2010 09:27:25 AM
03-09-2010 12:58:30 PM - edited 03-09-2010 01:16:32 PM
I just spoke to an ATT rep by phone regarding our situation where we will be traveling near Canada and know that we sometimes lock onto Rogers towers.
She said by phone, and confirmed by email, that if roaming charges appear on the bill, that we can call and they will be removed...asusming we did not acutally go into Canada. She confirmed this pertains to both data and voice usage.
We do have a business account, but within the business account we use personal plans for each phone...if that makes sense!
I guess we'll see how it goes...
03-09-2010 04:41:28 PM
03-09-2010 04:49:12 PM
03-09-2010 05:00:15 PM
It just says they will remove roaming charges from our bill if we were not actually in Canada. Ours is just an occasional issue...a couple times a year...but the rep I spoke to said they deal with this all the time for people who live and visit these sorts of areas. Made it sound as if a full-time resident should be able to work through it with them. Sucks if not...
We had a similar issue with Verizon last summer, racking up a $400 roaming bill on our G3 broadband card, and Verizon just said tough luck, you owe the money.
We paid them, then immediately cancelled the $60/month broadband access account!
Good luck with your issue.
03-10-2010 07:05:42 AM - edited 03-10-2010 07:07:13 AM
DWC1, I am quite aware of the setting to turn off data roaming. That is not the issue. The issue is I pay for a data plan for use in the U.S. already and even though I am in the US through no fault of my own it picks up the Canadian Tower. There is no way to let me select a tower, it just picks up the one with the strongest signal. Therefore, I feel that I should not be charged roaming because I am not in Canada. As I told AT & T, if I have to turn off data roaming while in the U.S. then I might as well cancel my account because the thing is useless. The only other thing to do is pay another $30.00 for 20mb of roaming data which I shouldn't have to because i am not in Canada.
You may have some unrealistic expecations about what at&t will allow. Turning data roaming to off will not impact your abiltiy to use any US based towers including at&t partners. But even in the US there are strict limits to "off network" use as per the terms in at&t's contract with cell phone users. Based on past behavior by at&t I guess they would would probably terminate your contract before they let you continually use an off network partner. I'm not saying this to be mean but it's just the way at&t treats these types of issues. Read the "off network" clauses in your contract. It is possible that at&t is not the best choice for you.
03-24-2010 05:17:28 AM
In response to the Verizon person, I have a Verizon datacard. Earlier this year, they let me retroactively add their Canadian roaming feature to my card when I detected accidental wandering onto a Canadian tower. (This one was completely my fault. I drove 100 miles into Canada with my MiFi on in the car trunk and several devices happily attached). I opened my brief case in London, ON and so oh crud. I call them and asked them to retraoctively attach Canadian roaming an extra $60 for 5 gigs. They happily did so. I skipped buying hotel internet and only lost $30 to my stupidity.
03-25-2010 12:34:15 AM
03-27-2011 12:55:29 PM
We just got back from the US. Virgin Islands. Much to our surprise, we incurred international roaming charges despite never leaving US. soil. I called At & T rep and he polity told me... tough luck. There will be no charge reversals, and next time, I should have blocked roaming beforehand.... Like I know. I assumed that since I was in the... U.S. I would be charged a... wait for it... U.S. rate. We have friends who have had similar charges reversed; the decision to credit individual accounts seems to be up the whims of the rep you are talking to. This is inconsistant and... Wrong.
I will be leaving At & T. I've had enough.
03-27-2011 01:34:30 PM
I finally got resolution to this issue last summer. I went to an ATT store and told them if they could not fix the problem then cancel my subscription and I would switch to Verizon. Paying the cancellation fee was much cheaper then paying their ridiculous data rates for something I could not control. The store representative called customer service and told them I wanted the problem fixed or cancel my account. After much deliberation and time on hold I was finally told that there was a commitment form that could be filled out and attached to my account. Each month, my bill would be automatically reviewed and fringe data roaming charges would be removed. I would still have to call in and have the text roaming removed manually. Since that time, I have not been charged with any data roaming and every month when I get my billing notificaiton, I call in, the rep looks at my account and immediately removes all text roaming. It has worked since last summer. Hopefully it will keep working.
03-27-2011 01:43:12 PM
I put up with the manual lock because I can reliably go about two and a half miles into Canada on my ATT signal and that covers their downtown and major mall. Having that little slice of Canada on plan saves me a ton.
03-30-2011 09:21:56 PM
Also the obvious question, did you guys UPDATE your iPhone's FIRMWARE/SOFTWARE TO THE LATEST VERSION? Some of this is Apple's fault (Apple was PRETTY CRAPPY in baseband engineering UNTIL VERY RECENTLY when the carrier's engineering groups worldwide finally lectured Apple enough on how to write proper code...). Make sure you're on 4.3.1 or higher. Let it update through iTunes, the update file is *very big* (670MB) so make sure you have a fast broadband connection or something or let it work through it overnight.
If it is on the latest version hmmm... It should be locking on-to the native carrier's profile (AT&T-US) or their partners in US rural areas they haven't *ahem* acquired yet.
05-18-2011 07:54:28 PM
What kind of phone do you have? Line2 from Toktumi sells virtual US cell phone numbers for Android and iPhones. There is no charge to forward calls to Canadian numbers and you have unlimited text messages to the US/Canada. It also gives you unlimited calls over VOIP. If you go with a Canadian provider with US roaming, it will pay for itself and give you a US number. I reduced my minutes by half once I added them.
01-13-2012 02:49:17 PM
Well.. to give an update on this issue. Everything was going along fine until the end of May 2011. Someone got wonky and decided I should be paying for roaming charges again even though I never left the United States. After hundreds of phone calls and speaking to managers in several different departments I was able to once again get the charges removed but I had to agree to block all Canadian towers. I did this just to get the charges removed. On July 10, 2011 A representitive from ATT International Roaming Support (who shall remain nameless) called me out of the blue. We had an extended conversation about my situation and what was happening. She assured me this would not happen again. The charges were supposed to be removed and I only needed to call in every month to have them removed. She was going to put a note on my account with the fringe tower numbers so when I called in they would see that. She also removed the block Canadian tower block from my account and assured me I could use her name if there were any issues. From July to November 2011 everything went along smoothly. In December 2011 I made my monthly call and started getting the run around again. After explaining the whole thing for the umteenth time the charges were removed. Now this month January 2012 I called in to have the charges removed. I run into a brick wall. They wil not remove the charges because they offered me a block last month and I declined. (of course I declined because the CSR in July told me everything would be fine and I didn't need the block). I asked to speak with a Supervisor (First Line) and got no where with her. I asked to speak to the next level supervisor (Second Line). She went back through my file and could see where the CSR in July had annotated my file with the tower numbers that were fringe roaming. She checked with the international department to see which towers I was hitting. Guess what..... the towers I am hitting are not the same towers that were listed as authorized fringe roaming towers on my account. She was unwilling to remove the charges. She kept preaching the company line that these were authorized charges. She could not answer the question about how do I know if I am hitting tower 123456 or tower 654321. She also gave no weight to the fact that their own CSR told me the charges were to be removed every month by simply calling in. I asked to speak to her supervisor. She claimed she was the head of something. After much insistance she said she would have her supervisor call me. I highly doubt that anyone will but it appears the answer to the problem is spelled VERIZON or SPRINT.
Once again, I can not believe I am the only one on the northern border that is trying to pursue this. Google search turns up this thread in the number one slot when you search fringe roaming. The point is I pay for unlimited data while in the United States. The last I checked, New York was a state inside the United States and south of the 49th parallel. If I can't use the phone in the area where I live and work I might as well cut off all service. My next step will be alerting as many consumer groups as possible to see if I can somehow put pressure on AT&T to come up with a solution.
05-13-2012 11:44:06 AM
I wrote my Congressman. I suggest others do the same. Functionality to control Fringe Roaming should either be included in a data plan at no further cost (within X number of miles into Canada), or as an option that can be completely turned off on the phone by the user. This should be considered an unfair buisness practice and should be illegal.
06-12-2012 05:49:38 PM
good luck... haven't been outside the u.s. in 15+ years, but i live in a "fringe" area. Last summer my bill for 2 months was $6,000 & AT&T went round & round with us. The only way they would take the charges off was if they could do an "international block.". Now we have no service what so ever. Called last week, they said they would turn back on but we would have to paying regular roaming. Since last week bill is now $800 +.