Previous 1 2 Next 23 Replies Latest reply: Aug 13, 2010 10:40 PM by BulaRae
jonrelger Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Just got my bill and there were 5 counts of data access on a recent 5 day trip to Egypt, despite me obviously turning the roaming and 3G off - and did a screen grab of this too! All email, itunes and web was carried out on the wireless network in the hotel. It accessed GPRS once a day varying from 9kb to 943kb.

Thankfully it was only £10.45 worth of data, but it shouldn't have happened and could have been a whole lot worse than 1784kb of data!

Any ideas why this happened? o2 were in the dark as to why this happened as much as I was, hence me coming to these forums to hopefully find an answer.

BTW. o2 have credited me which was nice of them.

Message was edited by: jonrelger

iPhone 3g, iPhone OS 3.1.2
  • neuroanatomist Level 7 Level 7 (31,690 points)
    Interesting. I wonder if it's something like the Set Time Automatically attempting to connect, or some such. Might be worth mentioning to Apple.

    You can submit feedback to Apple:

    Good of O2 to credit you for that, as well!
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,370 points)
    Turning 3G network access off does not turn off EDGE or GPRS network access, but having Data Roaming off should prevent any data from being downloaded or uploaded via the cellular network when roaming internationally.

    The message below the Data Roaming off/on selection is as follows:

    Turn data roaming off when abroad to avoid substantial roaming charges when using email, web browsing, and other data services.

    "to avoid substantial roaming charges", not to prevent any data from being downloaded/uploaded when abroad or when roaming internationally.

    Visual voicemail messages are downloaded to the iPhone via the cellular data or internet network only, and I believe this can occur regardless if data roaming if off when roaming internationally.
  • ajas2 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Very interested to see that someone else has had the same problem.

    Travelling abroad in December, I bought a data roaming bolt-on from O2 but kept data roaming switched OFF until I absolutely needed it. A few days later, the iPhone showed that a few tens of kB had been transferred. Very strange.

    Interestingly, when my bill arrived from O2, I'd been charged for the trickle of data, rather than including it in my roaming package. Curiously, the bill shows the "source" of the data as "" (ie a nonsense address, missing the .uk at the end), whilst all my deliberate roaming, later in my trip, shows "".

    It gets worse though. I used an airport wifi service to download my email without eating into my roaming package. When the airport wifi connection dropped, the iPhone automatically failed over to the cellphone network and downloaded several weeks of email all in one go. Data Roaming was still set to OFF. This absolutely should not be possible. This time around, my bill does show the full "" as the source. But it still shoudln't have happened.

    The very same thing happened again yesterday while travelling abroad - wifi was lost and the iPhone failed over to the cellphone network and started data roaming, even though Data Roaming was set to OFF and has been for nearly a week.

    On both these occasions, I was definitely trying to access the internet, and was using either Mail or Safari to do so. However I was doing it by wifi, and both times data roaming was OFF.

    I've brought this to O2's attention. But is anybody seeing this on any other networks? And is there any official word on what's going on?
  • clarnew1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I've had the exact same problem. I went on a trip to Tanzania last year and just before I left I noticed there was an iphone software upgrade which I installed. As soon as arrived in country I started getting e-mails even though my data roaming was turned off. I had another phone with me so I put the Iphone away for the rest of the trip as I realised there was a problem and I've heard all the stories about sky high data charges! I sent a complaint via the 'contact us' option on the O2 website when I got back and got this reply.

    "I'm glad to know that you've upgraded the latest software on your iPhone 3G. Although, I'd like to tell you that there's a known issue which is going on and many of our iPhone customers are being charged incorrectly on their bills for using the internet on their iPhone.

    I do understand that you switched off your data roaming services, still you've been charged for it. However, you don't need to worry, as I've now applied a credit of £10.43 to your account. This credit will be adjusted against your next bill and you can view this credit in the recent charges section of your bill."

    Just before Christmas I went to the USA. All seemed fine, every time I tried to access email or apps requiring data etc, the 'data roaming is switched off' warning came up. But I'd reset my 'usage' in settings to zero and noticed small amounts of data showing up as being downloaded. I also have the O2 app (which I accessed via Wifi) and after a day or so I noticed I'd been charged £6.50 for data roaming. The phone was switched to Wifi only from this point (and I took great delight in using Skype from then on, denying O2 any more income from me!).

    I've just got round to complaining again and this time the online method wasn't so successful, I got this

    "I'm sorry but I wou'nt be able to refund you the amount
    as you have been billed currectly for your usage. However I have
    provided you with the Customer support teams number for iPhone."

    I think these are coming from India as the spelling and grammar are rather unconventional!

    So today I called O2 and after 2 unsuccessful attempts got through to somebody who seemed vaguely interested in my complaint. He says he'll refund the money but sounded genuinely perplexed as to why the problem should be occurring. Very strange, I wonder how many people get charged for this and don't realise, could be a nice little earner for the phone companies!
  • marlowtech Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Exactly the same thing has happened to me in Ghana in November. I was charged £30 and in the end gave up the fight to get the refund. Arrived last night and an email came in at 11pm despite having data roaming off. Interestingly there is no sign on the iphone for a data collection - 3g,edge or the gprs sign. I know I am being charged but there's nothing I can do except turn my phone off.

    This time I'm not going to give up the fight so easily with 02. There's definitley a problem here.
  • Sally F Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I gave been abroad 3 times in 3 months with data roaming turned off and although I was in a free wifi area I was still charged for downloading data by O2. The first time it happened O2 credited me for this (over £300.00) Now, they finally acknowledge that it is a problem and until they have sorted it out my phone is somehow linked to an 'efund' something or other; I understand that this means that I will still be charged for downloading data when abroad PROVIDING my data roaming has been switched off before I leave the UK, the amount will then be automatically credited on the following month's invoice. They have also offered me a new package of £20.00 per month for 600 free calls, 1200 free texts and unlimited wifi access.
    So, just persevere with O2 till they sort you out. Hope that is helpful or if not helpful then at least useful!
  • Joshua Stark Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am having the same issue too. I emailed O2 and they say they will need to look into it once my bill rolls over.

    I was in transit at Singapore airport and my iPhone was on the free WiFi there, but I still "leaked" 1Mb in data and was charged just under £6.

    Sounds more like an iPhone bug to me then an O2 issue??

    Has anyone seen any resolution to this problem?

  • BazzaDP Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Also see this thread:
    In particular:
    BazzaDP wrote:
    Yup sounds to me like you accidentally used data roaming when abroad. This charge is not for Wi-Fi use and what you were initially told was incorrect.

    Is Data roaming still turned off on your phone? Check it now to see if it came on somehow?

    Did you send any MMSes while abroad? I'm sure I got a warning when I first turned data roaming off that if you send an MMS it could switch that on if it needs it, so it advised me to check this setting after sending any of these.

    Just recently returned from Ireland with Data Roaming turned off and never saw this at all even though I used Wi-Fi heavily there (I'm on Orange btw but not sure that matters - though they don't have visual voicemail). So sounds like a bug that needs to be certain but maybe a weird tricky one that doesn't affect everyone and/or in certain instances.
  • NickH Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi all

    This is really interesting. I have exactly the same problem - from Egypt actually. I always have data switched off, and used to travel overseas every week without problems. However, I have about £13 worth of data on my new bill for a seven day holiday during which the phone was either switched off altogether or switched on briefly with roaming switched off (it always is).

    Very strange - I'll report back with O2's response later but I can't help but think it must be an undiscovered bug with the iPhone if they are genuinely perplexed!

  • DomSaunders Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Same problem here. I've just returned from the Dominican Republic and have been charged £3.72 worth of GPRS data despite having data roaming permanently switched off.

    O2 were very helpful and refunded the charges but they do insist that with data roaming switched off it is impossible to be charged - evidently not the case!

    Interestingly O2 customer services warned that if they credited these charges there would be no future credits for data roaming for any of the phones on my account, even if this ran into thousands of pounds as seen elsewhere. It seems they have a policy of giving each account holder once second chance.

    From the dates/times of the alleged GPRS usage it seems to coincide with me switching the phone on/off.

    I wonder whether temporarily amending the cellular data network settings might not be the safer option next time as it appears that the data roaming option cannot be relied upon?

  • PaulSnelling Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Yep, me too, a couple of meg downloaded during a recent US trip when Roaming was OFF throughout. O2 tech support guy says that some applications - push mail (which I dont think I have) and Maps were two examples, can actually IGNORE the data roaming setting on the phone and run up charges for you anyway... His advice? "check all your applications and set them, individuially, to not access data when you travel."

    Oddly, this never happened in 18 months of travelling with my old 3g.

  • Dave Hutch Level 4 Level 4 (1,475 points)
    There are many posts just like this one, especially on the O2 forum.
    O2's advice to me was to cripple the APN settings by using something like instead of

    Make sure you do that on the voicemail APN as well and it will be impossible for your phone to conect to the data network.

    They mentioned that e-mail can bypass your Data Roaming settings but the method desribed above will solve the problem.

    Personally, I say that if their answer is different to the advice on their website, you should be entitled to a refund as they have given you incorrect advice.

    Best of luck
  • Joshua Stark Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I got the same response from O2 as well, to remove the APN from my settings.

    The iPhone allows applications to use data in the background even if
    you've switched of data. The email feature of the iPhone can use data
    even when data is turned off. You may switch the email retrieval mode to
    'Manual' rather than 'Automatic'. There are may other applications that
    override the Data Roaming block. The reason these applications manage to
    do so is because these Apps are developed by developers and they can
    programme them to override the feature for functionality.

    The only way to completely stop roaming charges while abroad is to
    delete the APN. To do that please follow the steps below:

    - from your home screen tap settings
    - tap general
    - tap network
    - tap cellular data network
    - tap APN and either delete completely or delete so that the
    settings are incomplete.

    Once the settings have been changed your iPhone will no longer be able
    to connect internet and you won't be charged for data charges.

    So, looks like this is something that they know about.

    Mind you, this was the part of the 3rd email reply got back from O2, after I told them I am a Telcoms Engineer and want to have access to the WAP Gateway logs that show what data my iPhone was requesting at the time.

    I have also sent a bug report to Apple as well with all this information.

    I then got this reply from O2 as well,

    Joshua, I appreciate that you've deleted the APN. I hope you should not
    be charged for any data usages now.

    It's really strange that email application is overriding it's own
    settings. We've forwarded this issue to Apple and waiting for the reply.
    As soon as we receive any update we'll see to it that all our iPhone
    customers are aware of it.

    I personally appreciate your effort for contacting Apple on the same
    issue and hope you receive a positive reply soon.
  • Dave Hutch Level 4 Level 4 (1,475 points)
    The last time I went away, I also made a note of my GPRS usage and checked on my return. No change so I wouldn't expect any charges.
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