Mobile roaming charges on the Channel ferry

37 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, LukeSkywalker said:

You could go to your local Verbraucherzentrale first and ask for advice.

Sound advice. I wish I had thought of that...

 

On 7/30/2019, 8:22:27, El Jeffo said:

If you don't have legal insurance, you should book an appointment with your local Verbraucherzentrale (which will cost around €35), which can advise you on how to proceed.

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I think there is a hole in how the free roaming works.  The problem is you are required to activate data roaming in your phone to work (duh), but then you are opening the door to automatically connecting to non-free operators, like ships.   I think EU operators should be forced to have some configuration to by default block the non-free operators.  I am surprised it has not happened yet, because the current situation is really bad.

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42 minutes ago, Krieg said:

I think there is a hole in how the free roaming works.  The problem is you are required to activate data roaming in your phone to work (duh), but then you are opening the door to automatically connecting to non-free operators, like ships.   I think EU operators should be forced to have some configuration to by default block the non-free operators.  I am surprised it has not happened yet, because the current situation is really bad.

Agreed this situation is really bad !

 

However I am not sure what could be done against it

 

For example last month I drove from Germany, through Austria to Italy, I got an SMS telling me the network NEW charges through each region, which or course were zero because of EU regulations. The whole system is set up for easy transition between network operators. Maybe it would be difficult to filter what you can connect to at the point of use.

 

If I get on a ferry, and its goes outside of an EU regulated area, the EU regulation do not apply, I am not sure how the EU can force - non EU regulated country's or areas to follow EU regulations and a ferry may well be outside the EU regulated area.

 

I would of thought their will be  regulations, about how are away from the land you have to be, for EU regulations to cease, as I am sure that if you are at the port - then you must be regulated by the EU and free roaming should apply. I mean, if I drive by Hamburg port, I would never expect to get roaming fees, as its quite a long way in land

 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, yesterday said:

If I get on a ferry, and its goes outside of an EU regulated area, the EU regulation do not apply, I am not sure how the EU can force - non EU regulated country's or areas to follow EU regulations and a ferry may well be outside the EU regulated area.

 

I would of thought their will be  regulations, about how are away from the land you have to be, for EU regulations to cease, as I am sure that if you are at the port - then you must be regulated by the EU and free roaming should apply.

 

Sure, you can't force EU regulations outside of the EU.   But you have a contract with an EU provider, not with a random ship that was cruising close to the coast and you happened to lose connection to your real provider and your phone decided to connect to the ship instead, this is not a user decision and the phone does not provide a way to block this from happening without losing major functionality.

 

What I think it should be done is that foreign providers shouldn't be allowed to just accept our connection and charge us outrageous amounts.  There should be some confirmation of charges between the ship provider and our provider, and by default such charges should be blocked.  The same way you can block charges from local and foreign paid numbers (sex-lines, gaming, gambling, etc).

 

BTW, not answering a phone call while connected to a ship provider might cost as well, the modic sum of 7-10€ for every non answered call.  So, for the moment it is better to switch off your phone completely after boarding a ship. 

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Seems reasonable, but

 

It states ( somewhere ), in your contract that connecting to a ships antenna is not part of you flat EU contract, of which I did not know before this thread but I know now - but its written so you have to pay.

 

The OP said, the ship had claimed to have sent him an SMS with the ships costs for internet access, so in theory he should have know them.

 

To me, the situation is not dis similar to a person, switching their handy off at Munich airport, flying to the US, switching on their mobile phone - if roaming ( which it will be if you are roaming in EU - like everybody because its a flat rate now ) was enabled the phone will find a network connect to it and start checking for Whats-app messages or new emails etc etc   and the data will be used - and you will pay the roaming charges for data - at the same time you get an SMS telling you the roaming charges.

 

Blocking of individual numbers like sex-line, is different to block a whole network, again if I fly to the USA, I do not know which networks to block or let alone the ships network name to block that I am driving by.

 

The mobile network is very open, which has advantages and dis advantages.

 

Maybe the system should be changed, to that all EU networks, can be accessed without roaming switched on, because as soon as you switch roaming on, the phone will connect to anything that supplies calls and data.

 

Again, this is a crap situation for the OP, and I am sorry for that.

 

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24 minutes ago, yesterday said:

It states ( somewhere ), in your contract that connecting to a ships antenna is not part of you flat EU contract, of which I did not know before this thread but I know now - but its written so you have to pay.

 

And this is what it's wrong.  They shouldn't just charge you without first telling you and without giving you an option to block those charges completely.

 

Quote

To me, the situation is not dis similar to a person, switching their handy off at Munich airport, flying to the US, switching on their mobile phone - if roaming ( which it will be if you are roaming in EU - like everybody because its a flat rate now ) was enabled the phone will find a network connect to it and start checking for Whats-app messages or new emails etc etc   and the data will be used - and you will pay the roaming charges for data - at the same time you get an SMS telling you the roaming charges.

 

This only works like that when your company has agreements to transfer charges.  So, if you go to a third world country that have no agreements to somehow charge you then your data won't work.   So clearly they have implemented the system in a way that it is advantagoues for them.  They check if they can charge you but don't give you the option to completely block those charges.

 

The only thing you can do it disabling data roaming at all, which you need to have enabled to be able to roam in the EU.  So this is what creates the problem for EU customers.

 

 

Quote

 

Blocking of individual numbers like sex-line, is different to block a whole network, again if I fly to the USA, I do not know which networks to block or let alone the ships network name to block that I am driving by.

 

You do not block individual numbers.  Most providers here allow you to block those pay lines completely, meaning you block all of them.

 

Quote

Maybe the system should be changed, to that all EU networks, can be accessed without roaming switched on,

 

This is not possible because you are changing providers and that's roaming.

 

What would be possible would be to have a SECOND parameter, one to activate EU roaming and one to activate non-EU roaming.   But that's difficult because it is an EU problem, not a world problem.  And having a customized EU operating system would be crap.

 

Quote

Again, this is a crap situation for the OP, and I am sorry for that.

 

 

That we agree.

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21 hours ago, nsuffield said:

 

The €59 ceiling only applies within EU I think. Boats are not included if I recall. Very convenient.

 

It's not EU only, we've had SMS alerts when we were in China and my son in Switzerland both of which are not EU and both phones were blocked.

 

21 hours ago, nsuffield said:

Does anyone know if it is possible to make a complaint to the 'Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizität, Gas, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen'? I expect I won't get any joy from Winsim. 

 

What exactly are you going to complain about? 

 

22 hours ago, nsuffield said:

 I'm not sure if it's Winsim or the ferry operators fault.

 

The only reason you are in this situation is because,

 

A) you didn't know that ferries are not part of EU roaming but thank you on behalf of TT because myself included was not aware of the ferries Wifi policies either.

and

B) your son forgot and/or didn't know that his phone with mobile data on and mobile roaming enabled would automatically connect to the ships satellite system and incur additional charges.

 

The only question that needs to be answered though is why your son didn't receive any SMS alerts or, I say this because my son does exactly this in order to preserve his phone's space and knows exactly what they are, did he delete them.

 

An expensive lesson to be learnt and if your son is anything like mine then certainly won't be the last one.

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There is some good information here in the website from the Verbraucherzentrale:

 

Roaming in boats/cruises

 

And the situation is crappier that I thought.  It says there is danger even while walking on the harbor, because the signal from the boat could be stronger than the local provider and your phone might change to the boat one.   It suggests to deactivate roaming when walking close to the ports.

 

And the free roaming in the EU is only for terrestrial networks, so you indeed might be f*cked up if you connect to them by accident even if you are not in the boat.

 

It says as well that even if you receive and SMS from your provider, because the boat connection is satelital it might happen a bit after you connected and by then you might have already incurred into charges.

 

And finally you have 8 weeks to reject the charges and you can go to them for help.  Of course you need a good reason, and they mention not being properly inform is a good one.

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3 hours ago, Krieg said:

 

And this is what it's wrong.  They shouldn't just charge you without first telling you and without giving you an option to block those charges completely.

 

 

This only works like that when your company has agreements to transfer charges.  So, if you go to a third world country that have no agreements to somehow charge you then your data won't work.   So clearly they have implemented the system in a way that it is advantagoues for them.  They check if they can charge you but don't give you the option to completely block those charges.

 

The only thing you can do it disabling data roaming at all, which you need to have enabled to be able to roam in the EU.  So this is what creates the problem for EU customers.

 

 

 

You do not block individual numbers.  Most providers here allow you to block those pay lines completely, meaning you block all of them.

 

 

This is not possible because you are changing providers and that's roaming.

 

What would be possible would be to have a SECOND parameter, one to activate EU roaming and one to activate non-EU roaming.   But that's difficult because it is an EU problem, not a world problem.  And having a customized EU operating system would be crap.

 

 

That we agree.

 

Given that the Telekom companies and ferries etc etc are in to make money, and as much of it as possible, the only way they will limit there ability to collect money is if Government's  force them to offer such nice features as you are suggesting - ie the only reason we have EU roaming inclusive is because the EU forced them to do it - otherwise we would still be paying more, when we visit non-home European country's.  I cannot see why any nice features being added,  to save you money while the Ferry companies can make a bit of money out of it and are outside of EU regulation.

 

 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, yesterday said:

 

Given that the Telekom companies and ferries etc etc are in to make money, and as much of it as possible, the only way they will limit there ability to collect money is if Government's  force them to offer such nice features as you are suggesting - ie the only reason we have EU roaming inclusive is because the EU forced them to do it - otherwise we would still be paying more, when we visit non-home European country's.  I cannot see why any nice features being added,  to save you money while the Ferry companies can make a bit of money out of it and are outside of EU regulation.

 

I think I tried to explain several times and you either do not get it or do not want to get it.  Currently the process is like this:

 

- Phone scans for available providers

- Phone connects to strongest signal depending on roaming configuration (allowed or not)

- Provider accepts the phone

- Provider asks the "home provider" if this is a valid SIM card

- Provider asks the "home provider" if they could charge you through them

- Provider starts providing the service.

 

Everything they had to do to fix the problem is introducing one more check, the "home provider" checks if the user allows "third party data charges" or not and respond accordingly.   Just like they do for sex-lines.

 

It is not rocket science.   But since they are not required to implement that we have the mess we have now.   And of course this is implementable because the "home provider" is our provider, which is regulated by EU rules.

 

It will probably happen some day.  Just like they have been forcing them to give the user the chance to block different types of charges.  

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Our child ran up £50 while on a cruise (all for text messages...) and Vodaphone UK blocked the phone the next time we were in harbour. She is meant to have locked down account, i.e no going over any quota/no charges, but Vodaphone claimed they could no block it while connected to the ship - this seemed somehow to imply that Vodaphone only received the bill for the charges with some delay. Which given that the connection never touched their network (it was all contained within the ship), might even be true.

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15 minutes ago, HEM said:

Does one really have to be "online" every minute of the day & night?

Of course not since you don't. We should all live just like you, right?

That you don't need to be constantly available may be an indication of your importance to others. 

 

woof.

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For information, we crafted a letter to Winsim asking them to provide evidence that a warning sms was sent. They came back relatively quickly, deciding to reduce the bill from €350 to €87. Still not great but certainly better than before. Neverthless, this is still a ridiculous situtiaton that, as mentioned above, could probably be sorted out quite easily.

 

Here are a few links for people if they are in a similar situation:

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24 minutes ago, nsuffield said:

For information, we crafted a letter to Winsim asking them to provide evidence that a warning sms was sent. They came back relatively quickly, deciding to reduce the bill from €350 to €87. Still not great but certainly better than before.

If they've done that already, as a tacit admission that they (or their system) failed to send the warning SMS, they'll almost certainly reduce it further if you complain again.

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