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.

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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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5 Comments On "Valuable Tips for T-Mobile Customers and/or iPhone Users"
  1. TDHill|

    Great tips! Phones, data- it’s all a complicated “user beware” messy situation sometimes! I’m glad they waived your fee. It reminded me of when I was traveling with 3 kids who were “not using data, just watching movies” on the road and we got a $1500 monthly internet bill. The provider also was kind enough to take it down to just several hundred dollars. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ginger|

    Make a separate contact for him for his German number and name the contact Jim Smith-Germany. That way, if you see Jim Smith on the outgoing call screen, you’ll know you’re dialing his US number. If it says Jim Smith-Germany, you know you’re calling his German/international number. Alternatively, dial directly from contacts and not by tapping the Missed Call contact.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Great tip!

  3. Paula M.|

    Does T-Mobile have the best plan for international travel?

    1. Johnny Jet|

      If you have the grandfathered plan for free data then yes. I will work on a post if not

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