Problem with international calling


    Is there no protection at all for t-mobile customers from raking up enormous charges?

    Here's my case :

    I added my wife and my child recently to my account that I've had from over 2 years. My wife makes international calls from her phone using skype. Now, instead of making the calls on skype, because she was using a new phone and a new connection, she inadvertently made the calls on t-mobile which now runs to $600!!

    As soon as I noticed the bill, I called t-mobile to block international calling and to revert the calls made in error. But their only justification is that they sent messages which my wife never read, because messages as you all know are full of junk.

    T-mobile could have easily called us and recommended a better international plan for us after they noticed the calling. But no, that would be good customer support. Instead, we have now been left with a bill that is enormous. What are my options now?

      All replies

      • cesaribenitez95

        From the side of a customer service rep: You want the company to call (spam/telemarketing) for plans and services? I understand that is a huge bill, and you love to know about a feature to save you money. But how would the company know that it is ok to market to you.? Now the question is that you pay to be able to call numbers (not video calls) on skype? Also Skype has a fail safe that will alert you that you be using your mobile service which fees may be apply. So that is something to keep in mind now you can try the following:


        Have customer service break down the amount to monthly payments.

        Seen if they are able to back track the service and retract the charges.

        If you do pay skype to call phone numbers tell them what they can do since the app failed and you got stuck using the mobile service.

          • troubleduser

            Thanks for the perspective.

            However, I dont think any customer who has already been charged 100 bucks on international calls would consider a call informing about the charges as spam!


            Also, thanks for the advice. What do you mean back track the service? Block international calls? I did that - they only retracted less than 10% of the charges and are telling me I have to pay the rest. It would have been nice customer service in the light of this issue for them to charge me costs according to their cheaper plans - not charge me by their most expensive plan.

          • cesaribenitez95

            Not to block intentional, but added and to have it started on day before the charges came in... for ex the charges stated on 10/16/17 have the feature start on 10/15/17. Then the system would removed the overages, and you get only get charged for the international feature. Sometimes it can be done depending on how far back they have to go.  Now back in the day when I was working at Nextel Communications, we would ask the customer if they will give us a bit of there time to discus feature, they would hang up, or if it was on a good day they will say "not at this time". Then after a bit of time they would call back and state that no one never tried to informed them of any features. Not saying that is the case with you, but after so many complaints of telemarketing, we just stop asking altogether to "keep the customer happy". 

              • barcodeable

                Re: Problem with international calling

                T-Mobile have called me in the past (out of the blue) and let me know that I did not have a data plan and I would be charged for data used. I respectly declined their data offer. Each time I used data without actually being on a data plan I politely declined. Because us customers get these calls all the time (day and night) BIG BUSINESSES always trying to sell something.  I will always remember the T-Mobile lady talking very casual to me, they used to talk to me as if we were friends. My wife would think I was cheating on her when she heard me laughing on the phone... she asked me "Who are you talking to", my reply was "T-Mobile" lol. Customer service now talk like robots, they read from scripts, i usually know the line they are going to use prior to me calling them. Long story short... I listened to the customer service rep and changed my plan, because it actually did save me money to combine my 2 individual lines and merge them into a family plan and to add international calling for all line on the account for only $10 dollars. I was paying $15 dollars for stateside international calling for 1 line... so when she informed me Of this... i said "yes".... been happy with that choice ever since. And now i have 5 voice lines today... each of those lines have International calling for only $10 dollars... Im so glad she called me .


                But now... when I go to the T-Mobile store and a rep tells me they can save me money... i ignore them because they are about making $$$ and less about really saving a customer money. And They did prorate my international calling once before when my bill was high and I had not yet switched to the stateside international plan.... hopefully they can go back a prorate your calling and ultimately eliminate that $600 bill. T-Mobile used to be more friendly and casual.... they are strictly business now... they stick to the rule book and seldom stray from what's scribbled in it .

              • tmo_chris

                Re: Problem with international calling

                Hey troubleduser



                I know that getting a bill $600 higher than normal can really shock the system. I can totally see where you are coming from and how it would have been possible that your wife made these calls in error as she was using a new device. These charges are going to be valid charges and we do not have a way of removing them as the calls were made on the T-Mobile network with your wife's line.


                We send SMS messages instead of calling users who make international calls, since it's more efficient and real time. The SMS messages are generated and sent as quickly as possible after the account system sees these charges occur. I can understand how in this situation a call might have been preferable for your family, but to be honest if we were to call all of the users who make international calls, we would run the risk of bothering customers in the middle of their wanted conversations with loved ones who live far away, and the staffing concern might prevent us from reaching other customers in time to ask them if they really did want to make these calls before the charges rack up.


                The messages we send when there are calls placed on an account that would accrue additional charges look like this "Caution! As of xx/x/xx, charges for calls not included in your T-Mobile plan are $xx.xx in this bill cycle. View details at (link to your account)". We try to keep them short and sweet and get the point across so that the users are not flooded with information they do not need.


                Again, I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you but we truly do value your feedback.

                • fellag07

                  Re: Problem with international calling

                  T-mobile should be able to block outgoing international calls without blocking calls to Mexico & Canada. Or at least to warn its customer that they are about to make international calls before they can proceed (like how verizon do) and not just send them a text message after they make the call. With all my respect that's ridiculous !!!!!!

                  • international_calls

                    Under your T-Mobile account, click PLAN > choose your line if you have a family plan > MANAGE DATE & ADD-ONS > under “Services” section, check to see if the feature “International Long Distance Blocking” is shown in there.

                    For those who do not have the feature “International Long Distance Blocking” showing up and have some international phone call charges, do the following:

                    1. Log on your account using both T-Mbile app and a web browser (Google Chrome is recommended). Make sure your T-Mobile app is showing the page as mentioned above (for your proof…see below for details).
                    2. Call T-Mobile and have them block the international phone calls
                    3. Check back your web browser (do NOT change anything on your T-Mobile app) by going back and forth and you should see the feature on your account; T-Mobile may say that the feature was always there and not recently added on (this exactly happened to me). Note that if you idle for a while, T-Mobile will automatically log you off from the web browser, but your T-Mobile app does not log you off automatically; your T-Mobile app should still show your old account features, which does not have the feature “International Long Distance Blocking.”
                    4. Now you have proof that T-Mobile was trying to make profit from international calls, which can happen when customer is using something like iPhone Facetime. I have captured a video of my proof as well as screen shots of this issue. I called T-Mobile on September 02, 2018 to complain about the Facetime-turn-into-international-calls issue, and they would not get rid of the charge for me. They offered me half off of the charge, but I told them if I had accepted it, it would also mean I had accepted it was my fault. After I hang up the phone call with them, I found out the proof as mentioned in step #3 above. T-Mobile may find a way to get around after reading this message from me.
                      • magentatechie

                        Hey there! I'm sorry, but I'm a little confused.  Are you saying that you DID already have the block in place before you made the calls, or no?


                        I know it's troubling, but using a VOIP service definitely does not protect from long distance charges.  International calls placed over WiFi are also billed at standard rates.  This is across the board with multiple services and carriers.


                        From what I've been able to research, there is something to the apps (FaceTime, WhatsApp, GV, etc) that has the ability even to "bypass" an existing block on a line of service thus creating charges for the call.  I've read that others have been able to work around this by removing the SIM and connecting to WiFi when using the application, but I've not tried it myself. 

                      • international_calls

                        I am sorry that I was not clear enough on my original post. My account had not had "International Long Distance Blocking" enabled before I made the phone call. Per T-Mobile, the feature "International Long Distance Blocking" should already be there for every account, and we can log on to the account to check mark it if we want to block the international calls by ourselves; this is NOT the case for my account. That's why I had to make a video clip to prove that T-Mobile is trying to make profit out of international call issue by hiding the feature "International Long Distance Blocking" from customer. T-Mobile may give me a hard time after seeing this message from me, but I stand for doing the right thing. I have attached both screen shots of before and after the feature was "turned on and enabled" here for clarification.IMG_3865.PNGIMG_3887.PNG

                        • international_calls

                          I just view my bill and T-Mobile charged me $27 + tax & fee for using FaceTime talking to a person in Switzerland for 9 minutes. T-Mobile told me the iPhone Facetime sometimes switched from data to voice, and T-Mobile blamed on Apple. T-Mobile asked me to contact Apple for Facetime issue. This is ridiculous. Provided what T-Mobile said was true, I wondered why T-Mobile "removed" the the feature "International Long Distance Blocking" from my online account and told me it was always there, but I have proved otherwise.