International Calls from US over WiFi

  • 17 November 2014
  • 56 replies

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56 replies

miket -

If I'm sitting in my house (in the USA), and NOT connected to Wi-Fi, I can

call family in Canada at no charge because I subscribe to Stateside

International Talk.

If I'm connected to Wi-Fi - still in my house in the USA, and make the SAME

CALL to Canada, I get charged $0.20/minute.

Miket, You are right about the charges.

But why some of the subscribers are charged for WiFi International Calls and some are not?

I know some people with same Stateside International call plan, they are not charged for making International calls over WiFi. Why this discrepancy?

   That is flat out WRONG - policy wise!

    They are really pushing the wifi feature in TV ads showing you can still connect to the outside world from the "man cave" in your basement.  There is no disclaimer that you don't get all you plan's benefits. 

     Historically, (before there were the intl talk plans, which are recent), we all assumed you would be "treated" as though you were in the U.S. when on wifi.  Can I assume INcoming wifi calls are free - when in U.S. or overseas?

miket - Hope so! Just got back from my first trip abroad. If incoming calls

on wi-fi aren't free, I should find out soon....

(they are supposed to be free)

  Suggestion -

    go on "chat".  Ask -

"  I am new to wifi calling and have some questions

1.  When on wifi overseas are calls back to U.S. free?

2.  When on wifi, are all INcoming calls free?

3.  If I have an intl. call plan, is the plan still in effect when on wifi in my basement or when overseas?"

    I don't need a call plan.  The few outgoing intl calls are made over Google Voice.

  The advantage of using chat is - you'll have answer in writing.  (Hopefully you'll get a favorable answer.)  There seems to be conflicting answers.

miket -

I've now seen enough to believe that T-Mobile takes the position that Stateside International rates apply when using T-Mo's U.S. cell towers only, and do not apply when making calls via Wi-Fi Calling. It's nonsensical, but it is what it is.

Hopefully this will get fixed. In the meantime, I'm turning off Wi-Fi Calling. If the coverage isn't sufficient, and T-Mo doesn't fix this, I'll move back to AT&T.

This issue should be reclassified as a "T-Mobile pain point." It's really an unnecessary complexity that causes the customers pain. So far, I've heard no reasonable explanation of why it would work this way. Fortunately so far, I make almost no international calls via T-Mobile.

Have you tweeted @johnlegere ?  He is pretty good about answering tweets. 

It seems to me it is a technical issue and some very good points have been brought up and when "in your basement" you should be able to call on Wi-Fi no different than if you were on cellular and if you pay extra for a plan to call international for free from the US and the call is to a covered country then it should based on their ads be covered unless there is a "disclaimer" which from what I have read there doesn't seem to be one.

Again if you haven't tried I would tweet JL and see what response you get.

Yup, and @SievertMike....

SUCCESS! From @SievertMike on Twitter: "Really sorry it's a known iOS 8 bug, will be fixed by March. Should be charged at SIT rates. Will credit you meantime."


iOS8 Bug??

My friend is also using iPhone 6 with iOS 8, but he is not being charged. Howz that? T-Mobile seems to be coming up with just any random answer, but nothing concrete. This thread has been open for almost 2 months, still not response from T-Mobile. Support Center is also don't know what to say.

His other tweet noted that the bug only affects some users.

I think we have our ultimate answer (from the CMO of T-Mo, with a cc to

@JohnLegere), and it's a good one!

Thanks mcohen8.

Can you please include a screenshot of the tweet where CMO of T-Mobile has stated iOS 8 issue. This will help everyone involved in this thread to talk to support center people confidently about this bug, if they decline the WiFi call credit request.

Sure - here it is.

Dropbox - Thursday, Jan 15

Userlevel 5

Hey @itslokesh‌, @mcohen8‌ and others experiencing this,

Just wanted to give an official update that we have identified this as a known issue with iOS 8 and it should be squared away by March. If you're connected to WiFi for an extended period, the iPhone doesn't know where you're at (domestic or international). We want to be transparent as possible. If you're impacted, you shouldn't be financially impacted by this bug. Until resolved, we'll continue crediting the $0.20 per minute you were charged while connected to WiFi.

Thanks @tmo-amanda - so the intended pricing scheme is that Stateside

International rates are supposed to apply when calling from U.S.-based

Wi-Fi networks, and international rates (e.g. $0.20/min when in a Simple

Global country) apply when connected to foreign Wi-Fi networks...?

Thank you Amanda for confirming the issue and happy to know that T-Mobile is working towards resolving this issue. I will wait for the resolution.

Userlevel 5

Calls are rated by stateside rates regardless of if made over a cellular network or WiFi. Once the fix for the iOS 8 bug is in place, the rate will be consistent for those in the U.S. calling to other countries on the Stateside International Talk and Text feature. This only pertains to those in the U.S. and roaming may be different.

Hi Everyone,

I've had similar problems to everyone else but also something new.   I have Stateside Calling and had enabled wifi calling on my iphone 6.  After a trip to London I found most of my calls had been charged at 20 cents/minute which was expected.   But I had several entries labelled as below, which had been charged at $1.49/minute:

Ascension (Wi-Fi Call) to UN KINGDOM

It took me a while to realise that 'Ascension' refers to the Ascension Islands which is in the middle of the Atlantic ocean around 3500 miles from UK and the US.   T-Mobile's system had somehow wrongly identified my call as coming from the Ascension Islands rather than the UK.   I guess the Internet cable or satellite link might go that route.

I thought it was fairly clear it was T-Mobile's fault but the representative I discussed it with was pretty insistent I must have been in the Ascension Islands.   Even though my call log showed I must have travelled 3500 miles there and back to the UK within a couple of hours!

Eventually they refunded the charges but it wasn't a good experience.

And this led to me discovering that my international calls made whilst I was in the US  with WiFi calling were being charged at 20 cents/minute and weren't included in my Stateside calling package.   This seems crazy and certainly wasn't in the terms and conditions but the representative insisted that the charges were correct and wouldn't refund them.

I've now turned off WiFi calling as the only person it benefits is T-Mobile.   The call goes over my Internet connection and so saves them money but if they're going to charge me more then I'd be mad to use it!

figibbo -

  I'm now confused.  I either read here on this forum (or maybe it was at the TM section on "") that TM admitted that billing wifi calls diff. then they do cell calls from the U.S. for those who have foreign calling packages was a mistake.  The user even posted the written reply he got from TM. 

   I'll see if I can find that post.

That was me. T-Force weighed in earlier in this thread. Wi-Fi calls

made from the U.S. to Stateside International Talk countries should be

free, but are being charged $0.20 due to a bug in iOS8. Mike Siefert (TMo's

CMO), in a tweet, noted that TMo would refund in the meantime.

In this case, a Wi-Fi call was made from outside of the U.S. (i.e.

Ascension/UK) to a country that is not the U.S. (I.e. UK). That call does

not qualify for Stateside International Talk "free call" treatment or Wi-Fi

to the U.S. "free call" treatment, but should be $0.20/minute.

I'd try TMo support again.....

Just checked - Ascension Island is not in the Simple Global list, which is

why you got dinged $1.49/minute. You must have ended up connected to a

wi-fi network with a public IP from Ascension Island - perhaps by way of a


Hi tmo_amanda,

I just finished a call with a T-Mobile representative and I was told that WiFi international calls are charged at international rates even if I have Stateside in my account. Apparently this is not the case. Can you please make sure your representatives are aware of the above bug?



So what is technically happening? Is WiFi calling fooling the cell phone towers by thinking that the person making the call is in the US even though they may not be? Hence can someone take their T Mobile phones out of country for extended periods since they are "showing" in the US