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Cell phone cut off for using roaming? Creeps!
Old 11-20-2007, 09:21 AM   #1
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Cell phone cut off for using roaming? Creeps!

Can anyone explain this one or had this happen to them?
I have been using T-Mobile for years. My bills used to be like $9K yearly as I used two phones in business. For the past 4 years, I have not used the phone much, and, for the last 3, the usage has gone down to almost nothing (like 200 minutes). I still pay $35 a month on time with the lowest rate plan (and the smallest amount of minutes) and in full just for the privilege of carrying their stupid phone and having easy access in case of emergency.
NOW, T-Mobile sends me a letter saying that "Upon review of your account, we determined that a very high percentage of your calling usage during several recent billing cycles occurred while roaming off the T-Mobile network."
I am so p.o.'d!
So, now I have to find another cellular phone company I guess. I need a cell in case of emergency and to keep contact with friends and my son, so being without one is a non-issue as I need it.
I always pay in full, am never late, don't even use the cell phone hardly. To me, it is $35 to them that they don't really have to work for. Why should they care if I don't use it?
It appears to me that they are not making money off of me somehow, but how?
I am NOT a happy camper about this.
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Old 11-20-2007, 09:31 AM   #2
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Both T-mobile and Sprint have made no apologies about their fairly recent practice to "sever their relationship" with high maintenance customers.

Try ATT. They have a plan that has free long distance and free roam anywhere in the US for about 35.00 per month. It comes with a boat load of minutes.
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:09 AM   #3
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I suspect that a lot of the calls you make are long distance/roaming and you don't get charged for these calls, but your provider has to pay another provider for this privilige. Right? AT&T used to do that, too, don't know about now. I travel 100% of the time and to places that aren't near interstate highways, so almost all of my calls are not in my "home" area. My solution was Verizon's national plan. It had the best coverage at the time I signed up with them and I think it probably still does...with its ever epanding extended coverage areas (it contracts with other phone companies for access). Under my plan, I can get charged for roaming if I choose to make or accept calls when I am completely out of VZ's coverage areas...and it is expensive. My point is, they don't care if the calls are from CA to NY as long as I am in VZ or VZ extended areas. My plan is about 5 years old, but I think you can still get it. So, if VZ has good coverage in you local area check them out. BTW I only deal with VZ on the phone (ordered it there, too) because the only VZ stores I've gone into (free battery every 12 months if mine won't hold a reasonable charge) were ill informed and for the most part, rude. I actually have had to call VZ on the phone to get the store to do what it was obligated to do. So, if VZ works in you area, give them a call. If you sign up on the phone, they are sensitive to other phone company's specials and will usually match the "free" or "for only $ amount" phone the other guys are offering. Do a little research online to see who is offering what. Until you get your new phone, check to see if the 911 feature on your current cell phone works...for emergencies only...even when it is no longer associated with a service provider.

Good luck!
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:54 AM   #4
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If you don't use your cell much, go 'pre-paid'. $100 a year gets me enough minutes to last a year easy, even with some long distance calls made with the phone.

I'm pretty sure they won't 'cancel' you - they charge a fairly high per minute rate, so I guess they are covered. It roughly works out to about 30 minutes/month w/o exceeding the $100/year. Most months, I place maybe 4 or 5 one-minute calls. So I can make a half hour long distance call once in a while - no problem. And we have three of these in our family, so we can 'rotate' the use for a LD call, whoever has the most $ on their phone.

-ERD50
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Old 11-20-2007, 12:50 PM   #5
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Try ATT. They have a plan that has free long distance and free roam anywhere in the US for about 35.00 per month. It comes with a boat load of minutes.
That's what I currently have. I've had no problems at all, and most of my calling is done from outside of my 'home' area. But since I use soooo few minutes, I'm very seriously considering swapping my Cingular/AT&T cellphone service (which I've had for about 14 years) for a prepaid Tracfone. For 400 minutes/year (which is far more than I use) the cost is only about $8.33/month, plus the initial cost of the phone itself (Mom's Motorala flip-phone was $18.95 at Wally-World). Also with Tracfone, there's no monthly bill to mess with.

$35 (AT&T) - $8.33 (Tracfone) = $26.67..............x 12 months = $320.04 yearly savings! What the heck am I waiting for?!
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Old 11-20-2007, 12:58 PM   #6
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Goonie, Tracfone vs Cingular/ATT pre-paid.

I have not looked in a while, don't know which is best, but since Cingular switched us over to the newer GSM version of their pre-paid, I've been satisfied with it. Their older TDMA system was pretty poor.

Maybe someone else has compared rates/features lately?

-ERD50
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:21 PM   #7
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Goonie, Tracfone vs Cingular/ATT pre-paid.

I have not looked in a while, don't know which is best, but since Cingular switched us over to the newer GSM version of their pre-paid, I've been satisfied with it. Their older TDMA system was pretty poor.

Maybe someone else has compared rates/features lately?

-ERD50
I just now checked on the Tracfone website, and it says they migrated from TDMA & Analog on November 15th.

I'm still weighing the my options.
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:24 PM   #8
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Based on posts on this forum, I went with STi Mobile. The plan I'm on is 10 cents per day plus 10 cents per minute. I bought from Cheap Phone Cards. $39 for a cheap phone, which includes $10 of airtime. They also sell refill cards at a 3% discount, so you are at 9.7 cents per minute.

Best thing I like is that there is the money never expires. The only bad thing is that if you are outside of a Sprint network, you can't do anything -- there is no roaming. I'm fine most places I go to, though.
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:58 PM   #9
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I always pay in full, am never late, don't even use the cell phone hardly. To me, it is $35 to them that they don't really have to work for. Why should they care if I don't use it?
I think you missed the point Orchidflower. They don't care a bit if you don't use your phone. There're concerned that you're using it almost exclusively away from your "home area." And particularly because you're using it in areas where it's not only roaming, but off-network roaming. Cellular providers typically expect your usage to be primarily in the area they send your bill to. (Exceptions for business accounts, national roaming plans, etc.)

I'd simply move to another carrier and get a plan intended for your usage pattern, such as the Verizon National plan someone already mentioned.

If you want to stay with T Mobile, call 'em and explain. Or, you might be able to fix the issue by simply using your phone more (but still within the number of free minutes that comes with your package) while you're at home. If you're off network roaming minutes are only modest percentage of your total minutes, they won't even raise an eyebrow.

Right now, to them you look like someone who bought a package for area X, but always uses the phone someplace else.
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Old 11-20-2007, 04:07 PM   #10
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very high percentage of your calling usage during several recent billing cycles occurred while roaming off the T-Mobile network
I would find out which is the other network and sign up with them....

BTW I recently signed up with Virgin Mobile. It was the best deal for me. I used Prepaid Compare as a comparison tool.
(Good second choice was Sti-mobile.)
I like Pay as You Go because there is alway a month or two when I bearly make any call due to vacation or other reason. If you prefer pepaid you can use the other comparison on the same site Monthly Prepaid Compare.
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:12 PM   #11
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I'd simply move to another carrier and get a plan intended for your usage pattern, such as the Verizon National plan someone already mentioned.
VZ's National plan does have areas where calls are pure roam (very costly). As long as you are in VZ or VZ extended areas there is no charge for any number in the US that you want to call. If you are traveling and begin the call in VZ or VZ extended area, they say you will incur no charges even if you enter a "pure roam" area. Truth is, the call is dropped when you leave the VZ/VZ extended area.

If you only used your T-Mobile phone to call relatives/kids in another area, think about getting a cell phone that is in their area code. The phone does have to be bought in that area code, but you can have the billing address as your home address. That way the kids/relatives can call you without incurring long distance bills. This is assuming you sign up for a national plan.

Another thought, if the kids/family members you were calling have cell phones - maybe VZ, then VZ to VZ calls are free...at least on my plan. Both of my kids have Sprint, but Sprint's coverage isn't as good as VZ, so I stay with VZ.

Good luck,
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