Constant Pinging Racks up $102.85 in Roaming Charges for G1 User

Here’s an interesting story that arrived in our inbox today. One of our readers, James, decided to take a trip to the UK for almost two weeks and took his G1 with him. He knew about roaming charges and what to do to prevent them, but it seemed that wasn’t enough. Rather than having us retell the ordeal, we’ll let his email speak for itself.

Before I left I asked about International calling & text to be added, which they did. Calls were 99¢ a min and texts were 35¢ each. I was also told that data roaming would be charged at $10 per MB. Before I left the store the store reps told me not to use the internet features and I would be ok. So I took it one step further and before I left I did the following:

  • Turned off data roaming
  • Turned off data sync
  • Turned off 3G

Now, my data roaming bill just landed and its $102.85. I am seeing approx. $0.15 charges (0.0097MB on average) for the whole trip every 3 to 7 minutes – almost as if the phone is pinging.

I called the t-mobile customer service line, and after lengthy conversations with a CSR and his supervisor I am told there is nothing they can do. The CSR told me that the way the G1 works it will always access the internet, whether it is for texts or calls, even if the data roaming features are off. I asked him why have the ability to turn data roaming on or off if it makes no difference – he just replied that the phone should have been left in the USA to avoid these charges.

As far as I can see, if this is truly the way the G1 works, then why didn’t the tmobile store inform me? Now I have to pay because of the lack of tmobile training their staff on the “features” of their phone.
I wanted to inform you so that maybe you can let others know through your website, as this is a hidden charge that should be put out in the open.

Ouch! Anyone else running into similar situations? This is the first time we’ve encountered this, but we’re curious to see what the official response is. Does the G1 talk to the towers even when we turn everything off that we can?

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