I learned a valuable lesson recently about making calls internationally with T-Mobile and using my iPhone (I actually, think it’s more of an iPhone problem). An American friend, who lives and works in Germany, called me from his U.S. number but I missed the call (I keep my phone on silent, so I don’t always feel the vibration). I called him back almost immediately but for some reason, when I tapped ‘missed call’ on my iPhone, it must have called his German number.
It looks like I had both phone numbers in my address book, and I didn’t realize that I was calling his international number until a few weeks later when T-Mobile sent me an $81 bill. That’s right … $81 for one 24-minute call. It turns out my grandfathered plan charges $3 per minute for most international numbers. However, if I’m traveling out of the country, I can call most numbers for just $0.25 a minute.
Since I’ve been a good and long-time customer, T-Mobile waived the fee but I did learn to always check which number I’m calling and to make sure it’s not an international number when I’m home in the United States. Otherwise, I would use FaceTime, Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp or any other free service to avoid dialling direct.
It reminded me of those awful times, long ago, when I would return home from a trip and have a huge bill from using my phone overseas. Thankfully, those days are gone thanks to technology and competition.
One thing to note: When the agent offered to look into getting me a cheaper rate, I let him know that I have a grandfathered plan, which includes free international data. It’s one of the best deals in town. Thankfully I remembered that and didn’t switch to a different plan and accidentally lose that benefit, which I would never have been able to get back. Snafu avoided!
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