Monitoring your International Roaming usage

magenta5522765

    Recently I got two warnings from T-Mobile about "excessive" international roaming usage.  I don't think I travel excessively (only 2-4 days per month to Canada). And my total data consumption is reasonable (4-9GB per line per month).

     

    At the same time, it's likely, that while at home, I have better wi-fi connectivity (at home and office) - so may not be using a lot of data. While on the business trips I'm always on the go between client meetings and may use the data somewhat more.   So I suspect my issue is not really with excessive roaming usage - but maybe a problem with insufficient domestic usage.

     

    Based on what I read online, if I get a 3rd strike, T-mobile will cancel my account and deprive me of my phone number, which is certainly not good.

     

    How do I monitor past and current data usage separated between Domestic and Roaming, in order to take the usage situation under control?  I remember previously it was showing that in iPhone settings (cellular data) - "Current Period" / "Current Period Roaming", but after a recent upgrade this information is not there anymore.

      All replies

      • tmo_lauren

        I would just suggest and encourage you to use your phone on network when in the US as much as possible. You are likely correct that it's insufficient usage being shown domestic.

         

        Spending some time off WiFi and on network should help you avoid any further messages!

         

        -Lauren

        • magenta5522765

          Hi Lauren, can you please respond to my question: how do I observe and monitor the actual usage in roaming vs on the network in the current billing period and in past billing periods?

           

          On the other note, you'd probably agree that situation is completely illogical. No one is benefitting from that situation:
          * The customer (me) has an additional headache to remember to use more data domestically. Like yesterday I specifically went on to disable wi-fi and then update all applications in the app store. Today I enabled some 1080p video for an hour (that I wasn't watching).
          * T-mobile just gets an increased network load and no benefits.

           

          How do we escalate this problem to t-mobile leadership in charge of defining usage policies in order to get them to come out with a better-targeted policy?

            • tmo_lauren

              Unfortunately there is not a way on the customer facing billing to view if data is used internationally vs domestic as of now.

               

              And while I agree I holistically with the points you are making about the unneeded network load on our side when you can just use WiFi, it is ultimately required that domestic usage be registered. I think the notion is that those not honestly in your situation would claim your situation in order to maintain regular international usage without time spent domestically. I am happy to pass up the feedback and especially recognize your point about network load domestically being unnecessary if you have WiFi access. That said, until there is an alternate to determine domestic usage, I don't think the policy will change as it is required that the majority be in the US and registered as such.

               

              -Lauren

                • magenta5522765

                  Hi Lauren,

                   

                  I do spend most of the time domestically and connected to the T-Mobile network, my typical amount of international travel does not exceed 5-6 days a month.

                   

                  The thing is that as a T-Mobile ONE customer, what I am paying for? I am not paying for the number of gigabytes downloaded or calls duration taken. I have broadband wi-fi to download gigabytes.  Instead, I am paying T-Mobile for a privilege to be always connected and have fast internet connectivity always with me in my pocket and without having to worry of limits.  I consume this product, or I take benefit from this privilege, predominantly domestically - as I am staying domestically, connected to the T-Mobile network, and using at least some traffic on the network, about 24-26 days per month.  Obviously, there is at least some traffic going on-network, at least when I drive between home and office.   From that standpoint, the majority of my "usage" is always domestic - based on where I spend time.    Why does it matter if I don't transfer enough gigabytes or don't have enough calls during that period?      

                   

                  Now with 2 strikes, one of which has to do with a week-long vacation in Mexico (ok, I understand), and another one I don't even know what is it for, as I only had a couple 2-day trips to Toronto (is it for data consumption, or calls, or what?) and no way to monitor usage metrics, and holding the phone number hostage, T-Mobile is essentially forcing a loyal customer to port out - probably to Google Fi. What other choice am I left with?

                    • tmo_lauren

                      I absolutely understand your comment about time spent domestically, however the terms do specify usage, not just time.

                       

                      Again, you don't need to convince me on the argument, I totally understand where you are coming from. That said, I understand where the business is coming from as well with the need to mitigate circumstances not matching your own where the system is indeed abused and the fact it may just not be efficient overall to create a new system that accounts for the case by case situations of each customer.

                       

                      As for choices you are left with, the primary choice is to use more data on network. I know it's not your ideal, and again, I understand it to be silly depending the perspective used to look at it since you are just choosing to alleviate domestic network traffic in favor of WiFi, but big picture does require more network usage, even if it seems less intuitive to go that route.

                       

                      As I mentioned, I am more than happy to pass the feedback along, but I also want to be transparent on any expectations for a change and the overall "why" on the policy.

                       

                      -Lauren

                        • magenta5522765

                          Thanks,  Lauren.

                           

                          So the easiest way to ramp-up domestic data usage without having to worry about it every day is to set up a monthly reminder, and then once per month turn off wi-fi and initiate a download of a 10GB file  (like http://speedtest.tele2.net/10GB.zip) into the "Browser and File ManagiPhonehone app I found on an app store. The downside is that you need to have disk space available on the device - i'm still looking for an app than can just download files without storing it on a device.

                           

                          Do you see an easier way to achieve the result?

                           

                          It's so frustrating...

                  • levs1999

                    We have been locked in Extreme Roaming Hell with T-Mobile for weeks. Even taking the suggestion of several T-Mobile customer  Service personnel to get a second Sim card did not prevent T-Mobile from taking action against our account. Escalated this issue to company president who put us in touch with executive response team. No real resolution offered,  even at the highest levels.   Advertising says “No Borders”. But excessive roaming rules are buried in terms and conditions and enforcement, warnings and ability to track roaming are all incredibly flawed or non-existent. We have initiated a complaint with Federal Trade Commission for Truth in Advertising violations. Customers who roam often to Canada and Mexico should make their voices heard.  The extreme rooming department is absolutely useless and the people who work there are rude and combative. Regular customer service folks at T-Mobile are sympathetic, and shocked at how T-Mobile  handles this issue, but are completely helpless to find solutions or make exceptions to prevent lines  from being blocked or accounts canceled. 

                      • jarsofclay58

                        Re: Monitoring your International Roaming usage

                        This is a reply for both of you.  We are in the middle of the same situation!!!  It is completely unbelievable, and I 100% agree with your assessment of the extreme roaming department.  My daughter's account was closed last night with NO warning text or call ever.  All we want is to have her number unlocked so her contacts can still have the same number.  No one told us about this issue.  magenta5522765 , it wasn't even explained as an imbalance of usage.  She lived and worked in China for 6 months and they knew that's what we wanted the plan for. So now she won't even be able to contact her WeChat community which is what China uses exclusively. I know you understand how angry and frustrating this is.  I sent an email to John Legere, Callie Field and Neville Ray, all corporate positions who could possibly help.  Now it doesn't sound like we'll get anything from them either.  Let me know how to add my voice to the FTC complaint and I will do that.

                          • levs1999

                            Re: Monitoring your International Roaming usage

                            Just go to FTC website and follow instructions for filing a complaint. I’m not sure about China, But with regard to Canada and Mexico, T-Mobile has gone out of its way to convince customers into believing they can use their phones in those countries just like they do in the USA.  Bait and switch. Really hope someone steps in eventually to do the right thing. If FTC doesn’t act (and it may not), next move is to go to media that might be interested in making the public aware of this situation.