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    Charges when roaming
    Topic posted March 31, 2017 by LonBronze, tagged Billing, Roaming, Voice mail 
    Charges when roaming

    Sasktel, just wanted to bring this to your attention because it is negative experience as a customer:

    Recently went on a trip to Cuba (which has obscene roaming rates, but I knew all this well beforehand), and wanted to bring my phone with me to take pictures and use the WiFi at my hotel.  Before I left I made sure data roaming was off, that background data was off and that google and all my other apps had auto-updates off.  Unfortunately newer versions of android no longer give you control to turn cellular signal on/off too.

    On the plane there, just prior to take-off I turned on airplane mode, and after arriving at my hotel on Mar. 12th I wanted to use the hotel's wifi, which wouldn't connect to the web security portal with airplane mode on, so I reluctantly turned airplane mode off and was instantly greeted with a text from Sasktel informing me I was roaming, so I promptly removed the SIM card to avoid having any issues.  The SIM card remained out of my phone the entire duration - I never placed or received a single phone call, nor did I use any data - only the hotel's wifi.

    Upon returning to Saskatoon on Mar. 19th I put the SIM card back in my phone and was greeted with a voicemail notification, which I called to check.

    I thought all was good, no way I could have incurred any charges, right?  Wrong, my bill showed a $2.99 international roaming voicemail dated Mar. 16th.  Now I had no problem getting this charge reversed, and it wasn't even all that much, the young woman at the Sasktel store was very helpful, she suggested it was because when I took airplane mode off the phone registered to a Cuba tower and so when the voicemail was left it was an international call.  I just think it's poor service that customers would incur an international roaming charge for a left voicemail when my phone was completely disconnected from ANY network at all.

    I've chosen to prevent this issue (and the problem of being nickled and dimed to access voicemail) from happening again by disabling my mini mail altogether.  But for those who want to keep voicemail service you should look at finding a solution to this - in past versions of Android you could simply turn off cellular altogether without using airplane mode, but no longer - now there are no settings to prevent your phone from roaming and connecting to a foreign tower if you intend to use wifi and once it does you are completely subject to charges out of your control.  (I know that you can turn on wifi with airplane mode enabled, except it does not work that way on some networks like the one the hotels in Cuba use).