6th Dec 2011
How to avoid large data roaming fees when travelling overseas
Author: YourLifeChoices
data roaming, mobile phone, iphone, bills, overseas travel

YOURLifeChoices subscriber Trish told us that a friend recently travelled overseas and returned home to a $1600 phone bill due to problems she encountered with data roaming. Her friend thought that she’d done all the right things to her iPhone to prevent these extra charges. Trish wants to warn others of this risk and find out how to avoid it.

One of the best and most important precautions when heading overseas is to turn off your data roaming. To do this on your iPhone you need to:

• Select the “Settings” icon on your homescreen

• Select “General”

• Select “Network”

• Slide the “Data Roaming” option to OFF.

This will ensure that your phone cannot connect to any 3G data networks while you are away. In addition to this, it is always a good idea to visit the local store of your service provider before leaving on your trip. They will be able to assist you in taking any extra precautions.

When you’re overseas and need to get online via your phone you can use the phone’s Wi-Fi connection. You’ll often find that cafés and even McDonald’s offer free Wi-Fi so grab a coffee or a cheeseburger and check your emails, Facebook, etc.

If you think that you’ll need more consistent internet access on your trip you should consider an international data package. These are available through most phone network providers. It is important to sign up for this before you leave on your trip. Make sure you read all the terms and conditions on these plans before signing up.

What do you do to avoid astronomical phone bills after an overseas trip? Can you share any other tips?


    To make a comment, please register or login
    6th Dec 2011
    I'm only new to "smartphones" but I have contacted my phone company and turned off International Data Roaming. I can still connect via "wlans" @ hotspots or friends with "wifi".
    I also check every time I go online that my phone is connected to a "wlan".
    PS: welcome to jargonville
    7th Mar 2012
    Just back from NZ and Vodafone hit us with a $1300 bill. All the activity was supposed to have happened on a day when we were travelling with friends in their car, a distance of 350 km. We visited friends on the way, stopped for lunch, and did some shopping. The phone was in my bag and was never used. Data roaming was turned off as we had seen information on A Current Affair - and we thought we were doing all the right things.
    On arrival in Wellington we discovered that the City Council had free WiFi so on the 15 th Jan I downloaded my email.
    The phone was pretty new - I got it in late October but I had had trouble with it from the start. I had to charge it every night even when I hadn't used the phone during the day - but I just thought that was the way they operated!!! Finally, last Friday, the phone died. I took it in to Vodafone, they sent it away and today I was given a new phone. I think the faulty phone was the cause of my problem - but Vodafone is still insisting we pay the bill. They have already put a bar on both our phones - the only thing we can do is receive calls. We can't make calls, send texts or do anything else.
    The worst part of the whole thing has been having to deal with the Indian call centre staff. They have been almost impossible to understand and become rude and belligerent when you ask them to repeat things. When we get out of this mess I will NEVER deal with this company again.
    20th Sep 2016
    Hi Scotty
    put yr complaint here also as lots people look at and use ProductReview

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