Extended Stay Abroad

adammdavies

    One of my family members will be abroad (Toronto, Canada) for an extended period of time (4-8+ months, maybe longer), and I may be joining them as well.

     

    I know that there is coverage provided to us through our T-Mobile ONE plan for Canada, but are there time limits to that coverage? We've been to Toronto before with our T-Mobile plan, so we know we have good coverage and that we'll be on WiFi most of the time there anyway, just this is going to be an unusually long visit.

     

    We are not heavy users of data, almost never going above 1 GB in a single month, but we need to know now before they go up there if we are going to incur some unexpected charges for being abroad for an extended duration and need to plan our cellular service accordingly.

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      • tidbits

        Re: Extended Stay Abroad

        yes there are limits.

         

        You must us a majority of your using over a time period in the USA.  So if for example your usage is 100% in Canada over a 3 month period they may cut off your services.  Here are the simple terms I underlines and bold the important part.

         

         

        Simple Global: Additional charges apply in excluded destinations e.g. Canada & Mexico; see www.t-mobile.com for included destinations (subject to change at T-Mobile’s discretion). Qualifying postpaid plan and capable device required. Taxes additional; usage taxed in some countries. Voice and text features for direct communications between 2 people. Communications with premium-rate (e.g., 900, entertainment, high-rate helpline) numbers not included. Calls from Simple Global countries over Wi-Fi are $.20/min (no charge for Wi-Fi calls to US, Mexico and Canada). Coverage not available in some areas; we are not responsible for our partners’ networks. Standard speeds approx. 128 Kbps. Not for extended international use; you must reside in the U.S. and primary usage must occur on our U.S. network. Device must register on our U.S. network before international use. Service may be terminated or restricted for excessive roaming. See important info about our roaming policies here: www.t-mobile.com/optional-services/roaming.html.

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          • adammdavies

            Re: Extended Stay Abroad

            Thank you tidbits, however, the language you quoted is what I was referring to have read. It is soft legal language with no clear quantifiable qualifiers outlined other than an implicit implication that greater than 50% of usage must take place in the United States. However, what goes into the "usage" calculation remains unclear and in fact is worded to be legally subjective to T-Mobile, which makes it hard to plan accordingly as a user without clear calculation formulas and quantifiable qualifiers provided. Muddying matters is that information on the web has shown T-Mobile has been known to count Text and Call usages over WiFi as those being through their U.S. domestic network, even if the WiFi connection originates in Canada (T-mobile does not perform IP tracing for the purposes of determining WiFi usage origins), which means the calculation as what T-Mobile deems as primary usage on their U.S. network is even more uncertain.

             

            Nevertheless, it does seem that the answer is too vague. This will likely mean we'll be cancelling all three lines with T-Mobile and transferring the numbers to a different provider that allows for cell suspensions for longer than 180 days (From what I have read, T-Mobile only allows for two 90 day voluntary suspensions per year, and our time abroad is going to be potentially longer or shorter than that).

              • tidbits

                Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                All carriers or major ones it's 90 days per rolling year calendar.  AT&T and Verizon do have suspensions where you pay the bill still but they hold the line.  Unless you are military with orders to leave the country you can't get more than that.

                 

                T-Mobile sees WiFi usage as being in the USA, and always has because it is routed through their network regardless of origin of connection.  So if you use WIfI calling you are not "roaming".  The rates will be the same as if you are in the states.

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                  • adammdavies

                    Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                    tidbits So does that mean, if we stay primarily (more than 50%) on WiFi for calling and texting while in Canada, we will not be hit with any financial or account penalty? This is basically the qualifying information and guarantee we are looking for.

                     

                    But let's say we do start to get close to what T-Mobile deems as "excessive"/"extended international use", will they warn us ahead of time before any action is taken (e.g. line suspension, termination, or roaming charges) to give us sufficient time to find a Canadian alternative and get the lines suspended or moved ourselves? We would love to stay with T-Mobile as they've been the best carrier and service we have ever had in the States since it's allowed us to go across the border frequently without having to deal with arcane sky high costs that other carriers have.

                     

                    "All carriers or major ones it's 90 days per rolling year calendar." There are workarounds; you can port a single number to a Google Voice account for a one-time $20 fee, which is small compared to the costs of holding onto a number with a major carrier indefinitely.

                      • tidbits

                        Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                        For what we have seen since T-Mobile has switched to the new roaming agreement thing with the SImple Choice.  There have been a small handful of people who tried to stay longer than 3 months.  Every single one of them had service suspended (not canceled) until they came back to the states so a month and then went back.  Most of them never used wifi calling.  One of them said he got a text and still had service about excessive roaming, but when asked about the others never responded after their initial "rant" post. 

                         

                        Based on what T-Mobile has said for years about wifi calling.  When using the service it's just as if you were in the USA so one would assume it's not considered roaming of any kind.  If it was there would have to be something saying in their roaming documentation saying it was.

                         

                        You can always Google Voice it.  That's what I did when I finally got out of the military and ended getting a job for the DOD which required me to travel overseas.  I'd be there 6 months on average.  That's how I know the suspension terms of all major carriers   The bad thing though you lose all promotions when you come back.  For example I ended with 10 lines for $160.  I switched to the 55+ because I knew at some point I was going to have to travel to Japan for 6 months and then S. Korea for 4 months after that.

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                          • adammdavies

                            Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                            tidbits This has been exceptionally helpful and useful information thank you.

                             

                            I think we are going to pursue keeping our T-Mobile lines as this has made me much more optimistic and with contingency plans in place and options.

                             

                            Worst case scenario: we get a notice around 3 months time at which point we can suspend the lines for up to two 90-day periods giving us effectively a 9 month period to keep our account before having to do something more drastic, but we will likely have been back to the States at least once in that time.

                  • cactus-pete

                    Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                    I have the same problem with T-Mobile.  They just texted me that my phone will be disconnected in a month for extended roaming in Canada.  I have had this phone number, along with 2 other lines, for years while in the US and several years ago I started working in Canada, but repreesenting the company in the US as well.  I am Canada for months at a time, visiting the US semi-monthly for a week at a time where I swithch over to T-Mobile as the primary SIM.  I also have two other lines one of which goes back and forth between the US and Canada and another one never leaves the US.  These other two phone usages do not apply to the full account.  Now I am looking for a new carrier or some way around this.  I have wifi at work and at home, but I have a dual sim phone and the Canadian company provided carrier (Telus) does not have 2G so I need to run that as my Data SIM while the roaming T-Mobile up here is Rogers which does have 2G so no data, for now.  This is the only way I can use both phone numbers without carrying two phones all of the time.  Two phones would still not solve this problem.  If I could set up my US number to call forward to my Canadian number when I am up here that would also work, but cannot be done either.

                    • cnez07

                      Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                      I've read all of the replies in this chain and what I have to say about this is that it is poor customer service and false advertising on T-mobile's part.

                      I have been a customer with T-mobile for over 5 years. I have 2 lines, one of which I pay for my mother. I have been using T-mobile's gloriously advertised International Package for a couple of years now. It is currently called the ONE Unlimited 55. I live in both Canada and the U.S. I am an international traveler, so as you can imagine the benefit of having roaming as part of my plan has been so beneficial. Let’s not mention that this international plan does cost an additional $25 a month. When I signed up for the package a couple of years ago and since, nobody has ever mentioned there being a capacity to this usage. In fact, you won’t any guidelines or restrictions anywhere in your bill or account details when you look online or in the app directly.

                       

                      I’ve done nothing different for the past 5 years in terms of my travels, yet it was only until recently that I started to receive a text message about my usage.

                      The sudden “crackdown” on roaming, giving customers the extreme option to close their accounts or the actual ceasing of services tells me that someone had to make sudden changes to their terms and conditions because they didn’t have a  strategy to address their issue properly. Their issue (I've called several times) is that we cost them more by roaming in other countries than what we are worth. Now we are experiencing the aftermath of their poor planning and research without a plan B for us, leaving us hanging in the wind trying to figure out what to do next.

                       

                      Even when you get through the tiny small type on the website and scroll through the various sections the following is the vague message which I think was probably thrown together when they decided to stop fulfilling their promise to customers. It says please do not abuse this; we may limit or terminate our service if you do. Under what measures? What are the real guidelines? Exact regulations? How is this helpful to anyone? I am sure if we would have been told the truth or have been explained the "rules" some of us could have been more careful in how we use roaming. I am VERY disappointed with them. I thought they were breaking the path for what modern day cell service should be. A lot of people travel now, have different homes and work in different places at certain points in the year. Now T-mobile to me is like every other company. I don't trust them anymore. I can't wait for someone else to come along and blow them all out of the water. We have been fooled and now the rug has been pulled from underneath us.

                       

                      I am sure this won't go to rest anytime soon and that there are a lot of people like us!