International Calls from US over WiFi

  • 17 November 2014
  • 56 replies



I have Simple Choice Plan with Stateside International Services with unlimited calling to 70+ countries and 30+ countries mobile. I have been using this service for more than 6 months and never been charged for my international calls to India. Recently (11/09) onward, I have been charged for my calls to India. I called to Support center and I was being told that the International calls I make over WiFi are charged as per international calling rates. What is the use of WiFi Calling then, if I cannot make international calls as per my plan? Why T-Mobile is not able to differentiate between WiFi calls from US and those from Outside US?





Best answer by tmo_amanda 15 January 2015, 20:44

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.

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56 replies

   We don't make that many calls (20 cents/min.) when overseas. to intl. numbers.  We do make use of wifi calling when we can to receive and make calls from/to U.S. numbers.

I do have a question. Is it possible to set up an account to block ALL intl. calling?  That would, in theory, still give you your free data and text under elligible plans.   Then you could use the various "voice over data" apps that are out there w.o. fear of being charged for a regular voice call.

It seems this is a common occurrence and therefore in my opinion T-Mobile needs to be clear on how charges are being made when it comes to WiFi calling. From my perspective, there is no difference between using the network to call internationally or using wifi because I will be charged the same. It brings me to ask the question then what is really T-Mobile's wifi calling? If I use Whatsapp calling which is free between 2 Whatsapp parties, why should I be paying for wifi calling? Shouldn't this be data usage? Well, for some reason I have been charged for my whatsapp calls as voice minutes!! This is really insane and this is the second month it happened.

Something has to be done because this is false advertising. I spoke with T-Mobile customer service the last time (last month, November 2017) about this issue and a partial refund was made. However, this month I won't be calling. I will await an answer from them to tell us or explain on this forum or on their website why they are charging Whatsapp calls as voice calls and not data. Although I wouldn't expect data charges because T-Mobile said it's Unlimited!

Let's await T-Mobile to revert......

ti @tmo_amanda

I am totally disappointed by the charges on my prepaid account for International calling with strange reasoning. This is the history/timeline of events.

1) I have a prepaid plan and whenever traveling to India, I TURN OFF ROAMING  and connect to Wi-Fi Network and make calls through "Rebtel" app to call India number and never have been charged as the calls are not going through Cellular, the calls are DEFINITELY not going through T-mobile Wi-Fi (as it'll be still an international call), but, the calls are INITIATED FROM the mobile App "REBTEL" for which I pay $10/month for unlimited India call.

2) Before leaving to India, UNFORTUNATELY, I added all my tmobile prepaid cards (got as part of some offer) added to my T-Mobile Account..

3) But, this time, on my trip between 22-May to 22-Jun, (on return) I noticed International call charges deducted from my account and on return I had $0 dollards forcing me to make a renewal. All my $180 dollars were deducted.

4) On calling T-Mobile, the strangest, wildest, stupios & outrageous reply I got is that "International calls will be charged irrespective of Wi-Fi call or Cellular Call". Luckily, I was able to talk to the same person who helped me MUCH before my India trip (in APRIL)  when I got charged for International calls on Wi-Fi even though the calls were going through the App "REBTEL".  So, the account manager (lady) was able to understand the problem but was allowed to give only $70 (50% credit) back and said she'll initiate a dispute... and later (after few days) left voice message that she could not do anything and it's considered as "International call in Wi-Fi"... but, she don't know whey even it was charged in the first place... when the call was initiated from an App "Rebtel" when connected through Wi-Fi"




What is "MWB" plan?  Thought there was only one "SimpleChoice" plan.

  Anyway, as I recall, "half your usage in a given 90 day period has to be in the U.S."   I assume that would hold true on the N. American plan as well.    I have not seen any posts where people have said they were cut off by "extending" their overseas stay.  

    I actually felt a little guilty last summer when using a bunch of free data when using Google maps to navigate us around Romania last summer!

    Sure is nice to be able to use your phone almost anywhere just as you do at home.

Thanks Miket. I was only inquiring because I have the Simple Choice MWB plan an since I too will be in and out of the country and so wanted to figure out whether the "treated as within the US" is both for billing purposes as well as technically/what actually happens as well. Amen if that's correct

  Making a call via wifi is treated as tho it is made in the U.S.  - I think the time shows as Central time.  I'll try and make note of the next wifi call when in Dubrovnik, Croatia in 10 days. 

  IF you are only going to use phone on wifi when overseas why bother with a cell phone at all?

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

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?



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


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.....

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.

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!

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.

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.

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...?

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.

Sure - here it is.

Dropbox - Thursday, Jan 15

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.

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!

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.

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."


Yup, and @SievertMike....

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.

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.

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.