Roaming bill shock costs Fin24 users thousands

Johannesburg - Travelling Fin24 users have told their woes of roaming cellphone bills that cost them thousands of rands.

On Tuesday, Fin24 reported that local regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), has published draft amendments to the Electronic Communications Act of 2005 that plan to deal, in part, with roaming bill shock.

READ: Icasa targets curbing roaming 'bill shock'

In the amendments, Icasa has outlined how it wants networks to better notify travelling subscribers of roaming fees and their data usage.

Icasa also wants subscribers to be given the option to opt out of roaming on an international network.

Reports have surfaced this year of cellphone customers being hit with roaming bills of over R100 000 while travelling.

Fin24 users, though, have also responded with their personal stories regarding roaming bill shock.

Fin24 user Paul wrote:

“Went to England on a ten day holiday. Never made or received a single call. R10 000 bill. Found out my two email addresses had continued to check for mail every 15 minutes. What a rip-off! Could not find any info on MTN site. Eventually got explanation from a blog site.”

Fin24 user Andre wrote:

“Cell C…roaming for 3 weeks….R26k bill…I never had a clue…”

Fin24 user Russel said:

“I had to send an urgent email while in Mozambique. The 4MB document and short confirmation call cost R1 418 - absolutely ridiculous.”

And finally, Fin24 user Pierre has advice for consumers regarding bill shock.

“I travel internationally a few times every year. Once, I received a high bill due to unsolicited data roaming. The explanation I received from the phone company was not satisfactory. I have since learned that due to lack of regulation and competition they can charge almost whatever they want. Now, when in another country, I always disable data roaming. In SA, I enable mobile data only when connected through wifi, almost always only my own system.  For security, I don’t use public wifi services, as these can acquire data from your phone.”

Have you received roaming bills higher than these? Click here to tell us your story.

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