Now that's a business plan..
charging customers a roaming 'receive call' fee for calls that end up in their own network, on their own server - just like they would while they were not roaming.
A round of applause today for Thai operator TrueMove and its refreshing honesty about the potentially deadly effects of mobile phone bills. Button from TrueMove website indicating "Worry-free roaming, no costly charge" Proceed if you will to the company's website, and click on the button shown here to discover just what could …
I've read this in some terms and conditions myself.
How can a mobile phone outfit justify charging incoming calls to a voicemail service at roaming rates based on the location of your phone.
I would be interested on getting some stats as to which companies charge this rate. I might base my network desision on this. If I don't answer the phone or if my phone is turne off and some idiot phones me and leaves a message there's no way in the world that I ever want to pay for that.
I generally don't collect voicemail when I'm abroad but I don't want to be charged for people leaving messages, this is out of my control.
Am I understanding this correctly or is this just an insane business practice designed to screw more money out of us ?
Which, if any UK mobile phone companies do this ?
If I recall the volcano disruption stories correctly the billing can actually be worse than that. As I understand it the minute your phone is noticed (ie. phone function = on) abroad and if you have international roaming enabled that country/network becomes the destination for your calls.
As your caller has no knowledge of this any resulting bills are paid by you. The effect is thus worse if you do not answer: eg:
1. You answer, the caller pays to call you (in the uk), and you pay roaming rates to hear them abroad. Not too bad, although the fee may be excessive and its less fair if they are in that country on the very network that is handling your phone.
2. The call goes unanswered, so it is routed back to the uk and again someone (you) has to pay since the caller does not know. Notice that you are using two _circuits_ one to abroad and one back to blightly. Therefore you may get called billed twice for the same message. Rather than reject the call and have your home network handle all of the voicemail the operators (may have) adopted this clever scheme where you pay double roaming to leave a message.
3. At some point you check your voicemail, again calling from abroad. So you pay the roaming rate to hear the message. Notice that this may be the THIRD payment for this particular message. Nice.
Oh, and since you turned your phone on ONCE this remains the process until you manage to get it recognised in another country or on another carrier. Thus the advice that if you take a phone abroad for emergencies: get a local sim, or never turn it on, or be *very sure* that you have no voicemail or diversion services active.
I wish T-Mobile were that honest.
They failed to mention (anywhere other than in the small print) that calls to 0845 would result in a phone bill of £50 or that they charge a premium to connect to your own voice mail in this country.
You also used to be able to call your own mobile number to access your own voice mail using your contract minutes, now they charge you the same as if you had called their voice mail number...
You should try living here. The market is sewn up between a couple of companies who are able to gouge you at every turn. Sim charge, sim activation charge, 911 monthly charge, network access charge, pay for incoming and outgoing calls, caller ID & voicemail, though I don't have to pay for incoming texts now. And if you want to move to a different vendor but keep your phone number, not only will it take 4 hours of conversation (with admittedly a nice man), but you will have to pay for a month of contract that you can't use. (At which point I and the nice man started manically laughing at the ridiculousness of it all).
Then there's the price plans. No wonder that mobile/cell phones aren't as popular here as they are in the UK.
I use carriers in 5 S-East Asian countries and I have found they actually do go out of their way to help customers effect economies.
Our SIM prices are USD$0 (free) even with pre-paid accounts; telephones are unlocked; poor service area are boosted with low power repeaters after surveys.
Our corporate cell supplier, a government owned entity, even gave us SMS access from our computer network and we are also able to get our user location by cell numbering at no cost. Number assignment is by customer choice at no charge. Incoming texts are free and the Internet access for smart-phones is superb. Oh, the rates have just been reduced 15%, too!
Canada, as JCL said, is a rip although a recent addition to the carrier mix is upsetting the status quo. The two major carriers charge $50 for a SIM that costs them $0.50; the new carrier gives the SIM free AND permits number selection.
Different cultures obviously have different interpretations for 'service' and 'fair dealing'.
I recall reading about this issue many, many years ago.
Back then it was suggested that if you activated voice mail while on your HOME network, then incoming calls while you were roaming could go to voicemail free (or at whatever rate your operator stuffs you for). If you are already roaming when you activate voicemail, calls go out to your roaming network and then get diverted back again - so you pay the incoming rate for the inbound romaing call PLUS the outbound rate for the diversion to voicemail.
I think the suggestion was that if you activate voicemail, the diversion is actually set on the network you are connected to - not necessarily your home network.
Though I stand to be corrected on that.
You're sort of right. If you activated an immediate divert on your home network before travelling then the incoming call would never leave the UK, so you wouldn't be charged for an incoming call. Historically, if you set up a conditional divert (in the UK or when abroad) then you would be charged for an incoming call to the country you were in and for an outgoing call back to the UK to your voicemail service. Networks recommended setting up diverts before leaving the UK because they couldn't guarantee it would work if trying to do it when abroad.
Orange stopped charging for conditional diverts to voicemail when abroad 7 years ago (see this Usenet posting for more details http://bit.ly/bToN6G) and Vodafone also no longer charge. I'm not sure about the rest of the networks but it would be interesting to know.
Let my phone number be referred to as 'phone extension' and my voicemail account as 'voicemail extension'
From my providers point of view, the voicemail extension is just another extension. My operator even allows calls directly to my voicemail extension.
The only thing actually linking my phone extension with my voicemail extension is my contract with the provider.
If somebody calls directly to my voicemail extension, they pay whatever their operator charges them for connecting to my operators network.
But if a call destined for my phone extension ends up on my voicemail extension, then it is because of CALL FORWARDING. And I also pay what my contract states I should pay for calls forwarded.
So in case of 'delayed' or 'on busy' forwarding the call is routed abroad and back again and the result is a life cut short.
But in case of 'forwarding when N/A' my phone is not found, the decision what to do with the call is left to my operator and the forwarding would be internetwork -- another life saved.
My operator actually disables 'on busy' and 'no answer' forwarding to voicemail when I leave home network coverage.
Ah, so you need to travel outside Thailand to receive calls on True.
Apple with thier infallable nose for the worse local provider gave the iPhone monopoly to these jokers. So the missus was stuck with a shiny new full function iPhone with all sorts of wonderful Jobsian functions -- except the ability to make or receive phone calls on anything but an intermitent and temporary basis.