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Old 08-26-2007, 05:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Using PIN messaging while overseas roaming (T-Mobile USA)

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Now here's a doozy for you - is there a charge for using PIN messaging while roaming through Europe for a US T-Mobile phone? Is it billed as data? Or is it free? Is it even usable over the BB network while overseas? FYI, I'll be in Turkey if that matters.

I won't even bother asking T-Mobile this one, they won't know...
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Old 08-26-2007, 01:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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its billed as data
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Old 08-26-2007, 03:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Scheuer View Post
its billed as data
Wow, Cory, someone knows! Here's another quick followup, then - is there KB overhead when sending PINs? T-Mobile is charging me 15 cents per KB. For pure text, that's a LOT of PIN messages. But if there's data overhead in the transmission, it could get sucky...
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Old 08-26-2007, 03:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm sure there's some other overhead data but I don't think it's that much.
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Old 08-26-2007, 10:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 08-27-2007, 01:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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sgtcasey - if that's true, you just saved my life. I called Tmo and they had no idea if it'd work overseas. They really don't know anything about international stuff at customer care. Wow, that's an amazing tidbit of info. Do you know what the add-on is called so I can specifically ask for it?
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Old 08-27-2007, 01:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's called "Blackberry Unlimited International E-mail" and it's under the "Optional Services" side of the "Plan & Services" tab on my.t-mobile.com. It's nice because as was mentioned, they pro-rate it for you. If I remember correctly, you'll get a confirmation SMS when you activate it and I'd do it a day prior to travelling just to be sure.

One added note: in theory this *only* covers e-mail. Some have mentioned that Tmo usually doesn't get enough information from their roaming partners to know whether particular data is e-mail or not, but I usually avoid web browsing abroad to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Also, SMS has roaming charges associated which vary by country.

Hope that helps!
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I too have TMO I just got back from Turkey last week. We had the aforementioned "Blackberry Unlimited International E-mail" plan on our BB's. Since we just got back, we don't yet have the bill - so I can't tell you if our PINs or our short stints at the Internet surfing cost us extra money.

I must say that while in Germany earlier this year I did *not* get charged extra for PINs or the brief checking of CNN.com etc.
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Old 08-28-2007, 06:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hey Jumpin Joe,

When does your bill come in? I leave on Sunday, it'd be awesome to know for sure before I take off. Thanks so much.
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Old 08-28-2007, 07:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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A quick resolution to your question would be to call T-Mobile CS, and directly ask them,
"If I add the BlackBerry Unlimited International E-Mail" data plan to my account, Will I or Will I Not Be billed for my BB PIN messaging? or is this included as a part of the Unlimited plan while I'm in Turkey?"
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Old 08-28-2007, 07:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGreggers View Post
A quick resolution to your question would be to call T-Mobile CS, and directly ask them,
"If I add the BlackBerry Unlimited International E-Mail" data plan to my account, Will I or Will I Not Be billed for my BB PIN messaging? or is this included as a part of the Unlimited plan while I'm in Turkey?"
HAHAHAHA...you wish! I've been told 3 different things from 3 different reps. They have no clue. To top it off, they had to put me on hold and search for 10 minutes to give me the wrong answer. One even told me that I had to add a $20 option to my plan in order to make calls from Turkey. They don't have any idea what we're talking about. Call CS and ask about PINs and you can feel the blank stare through the phone. And you expect them to know about international PIN, data, or BB use? Puhleeeeeze.

I trust you guys infinitely more than them.
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Incoming calls while roaming

I just returned from a trip to Spain, France, and Italy.

I had the International Data turned on. No charges for web browsing, and I did a lot of it (google maps, etc).

My phone rang several times, and not wanting to pay 99 cents per minute plus taxes to answer it, I let them all go to voicemail where I could check them using Skype later.

Turns out I was billed for each minute of incoming calls, even though I didn't answer. I was even charged for calling my phone and retrieving the voicemail using Skype (I was charged for 2 minutes on that call!)

So when I received the bill, I called T-Mobile, and they said they are now charging (or being charged by the carrier in that country) for all incoming international calls, whether the call is answered or not. It was something relatively new. I've been to Europe several times previously, and had not been charged for any incoming calls.

So if your phone is on, you will be charged for at least one minute, even if you dont answer it. If your phone is off, you won't be charged.

Not sure that is for all international countries, and the T-mobile rep didn't know either.

Fortunately for me, not many people have my cell number. If you get lots of calls on your cell phone, and go to Turkey, you may get a big bill for incoming calls. You may want to consider turning on your phone just long enough to get your e-mail, then turn it off.
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Old 08-29-2007, 02:12 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Old 08-29-2007, 02:19 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Old 08-29-2007, 02:46 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtcasey View Post
The reason you were charged for that minute when you didn't answer your phone is because when you don't answer the call or hit Ignore to send it to voicemail you phone makes an outgoing "call" to your voicemail account. If you are roaming internationally you'll pay whatever the per minute rate is for the country you are in.

The only way to avoid that is, as you found, to leave your cell phone turned off unless you need to use it. Then your call goes to voicemail right away without even coming to your phone to start with.

Dave
Dave - I'm loving this...someone knowledgeable! So let me ask you this - if I do an unconditional call forward to a domestic number and turn that on before I leave, no calls will ever touch my phone and be routed to a US number without ever hitting Turkey, right? So if unconditional call forwarding is set can I avoid the one minute charge on incomings?

The reason I'm asking - My current devious plot is to set up an unconditional call forward to a domestic Net2phone account with voicemail to email sending. Then I can retrieve the .wav file using email on the unlimited BB overseas account. I realize that at the number they're sent to it'll eat my cell bucket minutes, but I don't care about that (it'll only be long enough for someone to leave a message on the Net2phone voicemail). No charges! (I hope). Will that work?

Last edited by fbueller : 08-29-2007 at 04:32 AM.
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:34 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbueller View Post
Dave - I'm loving this...someone knowledgeable! So let me ask you this - if I do an unconditional call forward to a domestic number and turn that on before I leave, no calls will ever touch my phone and be routed to a US number without ever hitting Turkey, right? So if unconditional call forwarding is set can I avoid the one minute charge on incomings?
This is exactly what I did for my BB and the Wife's BB while we were in Turkey. I forwarded all inbound calls to our favorite voicemail service and the phone never rang.

Now I've not yet received the bill, but I *know* that works. I used the "Forward all calls" option (or whatever it is called...my BB is not in front of me).
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:34 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbueller View Post
Hey Jumpin Joe,

When does your bill come in? I leave on Sunday, it'd be awesome to know for sure before I take off. Thanks so much.
Sorry September 7th.
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:09 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:29 AM   #20 (permalink)
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If you are currently happy with your voicemail and don't mind calling it and checking in, hit Phone app -> Menu -> Options -> Call Forwarding -> you can select "Forward All Calls", and tell it which number to forward to.
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