iPhone Roaming Question

DaveWT

Well-Known Member
I am a light iPhone user with my cell plan being on Koodo. I have opted for their "Easy Roam" feature so if I am travelling (I sort of remember that concept), I get charged a set fee each day I use the phone in the US. However the reality of living in Victoria presents the possibility of hopping onto a US cell tower by accident. In my iPhone Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options I have "Roaming Off". This setting has not been touched in over a year and a half. And yet this month I was charged for a roaming fee on a day I walked along the beach at super low tide near Cordova Bay. I contacted Koodo over this, and they confirmed it was a roaming call made that day that caused the extra charge. They said since I was such a good customer and always paid my bills on time they would reverse that charge, but had no explanation of how I could roam with roaming turned off.

So my question(s):
Have I missed a setting on my iPhone that would prevent a similar occurrence in the future?
Was this a failure on the part of my iPhone (to ignore my settings) or a failure on the part of the cell provider (Koodo) to not respect that setting?
Any other thoughts or words of wisdom from the more frequent travellers out there?
 

DaveWT

Well-Known Member
I found this at https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201643

"Need to avoid roaming charges because you arrived at your destination without an international data plan? Turn off Cellular Data and Data Roaming."

So turning off data roaming alone isn't enough? What is the purpose of that setting then, of you also need to turn off Cellular Data too?
 

DaveS

Well-Known Member
I'm curious about what sort of response you get to this. I've noticed walking in Metchosin where my daughter lives that I get a notification of being in a US service area. I have no plan, so I don't get charged, but like you, I have roaming turned off and still get the notices.
 

DaveWT

Well-Known Member
Today we headed for Mystic Beach (out past Jordan River). Before we left home I made sure Roaming was OFF but I also took the extra step of turning Cellular Data OFF. On the way out I received a text from Koodo "Welcome to the USA". I immediately put the phone in Airplane mode as well for the rest of the day. When I got home I found an email from Koodo saying my phone was roaming on a USA network! I guess I might as well get rid of the iPhone and go back to my old iPod Touch. Never had such nonsense with that! I will be back on the phone with Koodo tomorrow!
 

DaveWT

Well-Known Member
Some Clarity - Koodo style

I spoke to a Koodo rep again today. His explanation:
"When you go into Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options and turn Roaming Off, you are only stopping Data functions from roaming to a USA cell tower. You are NOT stopping voice (i.e. an actual phone call) from roaming to a USA cell tower."

So I guess that would only prevent web surfing, using Maps etc. from using US cell networks.

There is apparently no iOS setting that stops phone calls from roaming. (other than invoking Airplane Mode).

He offered one solution for where we live. When you get a text from Koodo saying "Welcome to the USA..." reply with "BLOCK". That will prevent all future calls from jumping on a USA cell towers. The downside is if you ever do go travelling again and want to use your iPhone in the USA, you would need to contact Koodo first and have them undo that change. (And getting to a Koodo agent to try to get that done is no easy task.)

So that is the Koodo explanation. Does it hold water in other peoples' minds (or with other carriers?) And if that is truly the case, why hasn't Apple offered a setting to turn off roaming for voice calls?
 

chas_m

Well-Known Member
The essential problem is that you are on Easy Roam. Deactivate this until you are actually planning to travel outside of Canada, activate it before you go, deactivate it when you get back. Problem solved.
 

DaveWT

Well-Known Member
Thanks for that idea. I thought the deal with Easy Roam was that it just guaranteed a set price on the days you use it rather than paying some higher roaming fees if you didn't have that plan. With Easy Roam deactivated wouldn't I just be charged those higher fees if I accidentally connected to one of those US cell towers? I guess my understanding of this stuff is just to limited. And I wonder how easy it is to drop out of Easy Roam and get back on when wanted.
 

DaveWT

Well-Known Member
I found this info on the Koodo site after a bit of digging...

Roaming Tip.png

Interesting that is says "to help avoid this" rather than "to prevent this". I went into my settings on my iPhone and found this...



IMG_5357.PNG

Clicking on Network Selection Koodo> took me to this:



IMG_5358.PNG

And when I turned off that green "Automatic" switch I was able to select "Koodo" from the networks I was seeing at the moment. Hopefully that isn't a mistake and hopefully I will remember to undo this if I ever go travelling again.

IMG_5359.PNG
 

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DaveWT

Well-Known Member
I just hope restricting myself to the Koodo (Telus) network while in the Victoria are isn't to limiting. I suppose as one moves around the area there may be spots where the coverage is thin and I might otherwise have hopped onto another (local) network with the automatic setting. But we are light phone users so we probably won't notice.
 

chas_m

Well-Known Member
Kodoo uses the Telus network. You should have great coverage pretty much everywhere locally, short of really getting out into the extremely rural areas.
 
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