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Paul Motter November 8th, 2011 03:00 PM

Interesting experience regarding Cruise Ship data charges
I just got home from my Seabourn cruise to find a cellphone bill that says I downloaded 22 megabytes of data during the cruise.

BE ADVISED - I am not sure what the data was, but I think it was a picture of our dogs that was sent to me by text message. I opened it three times. Now, I am not sure of this because it really doesn't make sense time wise... one time was at 8:30 at night (I would have been at dinner) and the other two times were at 4:30 in the morning 4 days later.

Now, I KNOW enough to keep data roaming turned off - during a cruise. had I kept it on during the cruise you would habe seen the data going FAR FAR higher than just 22 MB during a 12-day cruise.

So, this means a text message is not considered "data" while you are on a cruise ship. AND guess what the rate is

$25 per megabyte!

That is crazy high? One picture can easily be 5 MB if it is taken on a new camera, even higher.

My verizon bill had $421 extra charges for "data" during the cruise. Okay, so I called Verizon and I asked them - I had my data roaming turned off, so what data did use during the cruise.

"We can't tell you due to an FTC privacy act." I was told. Oh! So they can charge you for data that they can't identify. Really? I was told I need to submit a subpeona if I wanted to know what tha data was. I was given an address in New Jersey.

Now - I know from just last month that if a company (like CenturyLink, nee Qwest) is doing business in AZ they need to have a local DBA address. I was able to get that from our AZ Corporation Commission. (They are very good). So, this guy telling me I needed to subpeona NJ just to find out why I was being charged $421 is basically a red herring.

Now - think about this - I can prove I had data roaming turned off, because otherwise my bill would have been FAR FAR higher from email alone. The first rep told me it could have been "wi-fi" - that my phone could have connected to a wi-fi and downloaded data. Really? If I log in to the Seabourn Internet access I get unlimitd data - does not make sense, either. I told her that, she then suggested it was app updates set to work "automatically." - I guess that is possible but do they update even when data roaming is turned off?

I needed more information. The second rep "from tech support" told me that being on a cruise ship isn't "roaming" because they have an agreement with the cruise line. I shot that down immediately with the argument that I would have been getting my email and my data usage would have been far higher if that were true. Based on this disinformation I decided I was not sppeaking to knowlegable person so I asked to speak to a supervisor. By the way, he also said they are just collecting the money "for the cruise line" - but I don't know if this is true or not. I asked what would happen if I could get the cruise line to reverse the charge (based on the fact that I had data roaming turned off). He said that I would still have to pay the Verizon bill, but that the cruise line could then reimburse me. (I was not going to ask them to do that).

So, I started speaking to the supervisor - and lo & behold, he offered me a "backdated data plan" for the past month which would cover 50 MB. Cost $30. I took the offer rather than fight this thing, mostly because I am afraid it was the picture my SIL sent me of our dogs. I shou;d not have looked at it (I did open it three times, by the way).

I am not a regular "texter" so I don't know how it works, but I do know I get texts all the time, overseas, even when I have data roaming turned off.

The lesson is this - do NOT open a text message on a cruise ship, especially if it has a picture. Second lesson, if this happens to you - keep asking for a supervisor until you get some satisfaction.

KayAnnie November 8th, 2011 04:53 PM

Wow, good warning. How did you turn your data off? When I go to Europe, for example, I set my phone on airplane mode. Is that enough to ensure against accidently incurring data charges?

Paul Motter November 8th, 2011 05:04 PM

Every phone should have an option for turning off "data roaming" under "settings" - this only means you don't get email or internet access, but your phone should still work.

Personally I still want my phone to work for emergencies while on a cruise. If you put your phone into airplane mode it becomes just a gamo console - no phone connectivity.

The answer to your question is to just turn off "data roaming."

According to this for customer support person, you should also turn off "wi-fi" but I don't buy that.

johnthed0g November 8th, 2011 05:51 PM

Even at home the insidious "Data charge" can crop up...for me just a few pounds, but being a tightwad I queried the trouble is in the UK we end up with an Indian guy you don't understand & doesn't understand you who is reading a script. He has no idea what the problem is & they tried to tell me that a text is data & an attached picture is also "data", I asked if this is so why charge me for a text & also for a picture...they woffled a bit but they stopped charging me for data. A scam I think, charge unsuspecting people just a few pounds/dollars a month ..who notices?? multiplied by a few million victims...

MercedMike November 9th, 2011 01:21 PM


Originally Posted by johnthed0g (Post 1400621) the trouble is in the UK we end up with an Indian guy you don't understand & doesn't understand you who is reading a script...

LOL. I just have to tell this joke.

Ahmed applied for a job in tech support in New Delhi. He did very well on the tests. The interviewer said, "Now you need to demonstrate your usage of English. Please use these three words in sentence: Green, Pink, Yellow."

Ahmed said, "Ah, very easy. The phone goes green green, and I pink it up, and I say, 'yellow, zis ees Kevin in tech support' "

OK OK, NOT PC! The devil made me do it! :evil:

Donna November 9th, 2011 02:06 PM

Good one, I liked it :-)

Phil&Liz November 24th, 2011 10:31 PM

Just a follow up FYI on this topic...

When we arrrived in Progreso or Cozumel last week, I turned on my phone and got a text from someone either carrier (Verizon) or local:

On Cruiseship: Calls: $2.49/min
TXT send $0.50, receive $0.50
Data: $20.48/MB.
Turn data roaming off in device settings or use wifi to avoid charges.

I did get another message that my number exceeded $25 in data roaming charges.

Will have to wait til the 10th to see exactly how much my bill is.

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