Extended Stay Abroad

adammdavies

    One of my family members will be abroad (Toronto, Canada) for an extended period of time (4-8+ months, maybe longer), and I may be joining them as well.

     

    I know that there is coverage provided to us through our T-Mobile ONE plan for Canada, but are there time limits to that coverage? We've been to Toronto before with our T-Mobile plan, so we know we have good coverage and that we'll be on WiFi most of the time there anyway, just this is going to be an unusually long visit.

     

    We are not heavy users of data, almost never going above 1 GB in a single month, but we need to know now before they go up there if we are going to incur some unexpected charges for being abroad for an extended duration and need to plan our cellular service accordingly.

      All replies

      • tidbits

        Re: Extended Stay Abroad

        yes there are limits.

         

        You must us a majority of your using over a time period in the USA.  So if for example your usage is 100% in Canada over a 3 month period they may cut off your services.  Here are the simple terms I underlines and bold the important part.

         

         

        Simple Global: Additional charges apply in excluded destinations e.g. Canada & Mexico; see www.t-mobile.com for included destinations (subject to change at T-Mobile’s discretion). Qualifying postpaid plan and capable device required. Taxes additional; usage taxed in some countries. Voice and text features for direct communications between 2 people. Communications with premium-rate (e.g., 900, entertainment, high-rate helpline) numbers not included. Calls from Simple Global countries over Wi-Fi are $.20/min (no charge for Wi-Fi calls to US, Mexico and Canada). Coverage not available in some areas; we are not responsible for our partners’ networks. Standard speeds approx. 128 Kbps. Not for extended international use; you must reside in the U.S. and primary usage must occur on our U.S. network. Device must register on our U.S. network before international use. Service may be terminated or restricted for excessive roaming. See important info about our roaming policies here: www.t-mobile.com/optional-services/roaming.html.

        1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • adammdavies

            Re: Extended Stay Abroad

            Thank you tidbits, however, the language you quoted is what I was referring to have read. It is soft legal language with no clear quantifiable qualifiers outlined other than an implicit implication that greater than 50% of usage must take place in the United States. However, what goes into the "usage" calculation remains unclear and in fact is worded to be legally subjective to T-Mobile, which makes it hard to plan accordingly as a user without clear calculation formulas and quantifiable qualifiers provided. Muddying matters is that information on the web has shown T-Mobile has been known to count Text and Call usages over WiFi as those being through their U.S. domestic network, even if the WiFi connection originates in Canada (T-mobile does not perform IP tracing for the purposes of determining WiFi usage origins), which means the calculation as what T-Mobile deems as primary usage on their U.S. network is even more uncertain.

             

            Nevertheless, it does seem that the answer is too vague. This will likely mean we'll be cancelling all three lines with T-Mobile and transferring the numbers to a different provider that allows for cell suspensions for longer than 180 days (From what I have read, T-Mobile only allows for two 90 day voluntary suspensions per year, and our time abroad is going to be potentially longer or shorter than that).

              • tidbits

                Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                All carriers or major ones it's 90 days per rolling year calendar.  AT&T and Verizon do have suspensions where you pay the bill still but they hold the line.  Unless you are military with orders to leave the country you can't get more than that.

                 

                T-Mobile sees WiFi usage as being in the USA, and always has because it is routed through their network regardless of origin of connection.  So if you use WIfI calling you are not "roaming".  The rates will be the same as if you are in the states.

                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • adammdavies

                    Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                    tidbits So does that mean, if we stay primarily (more than 50%) on WiFi for calling and texting while in Canada, we will not be hit with any financial or account penalty? This is basically the qualifying information and guarantee we are looking for.

                     

                    But let's say we do start to get close to what T-Mobile deems as "excessive"/"extended international use", will they warn us ahead of time before any action is taken (e.g. line suspension, termination, or roaming charges) to give us sufficient time to find a Canadian alternative and get the lines suspended or moved ourselves? We would love to stay with T-Mobile as they've been the best carrier and service we have ever had in the States since it's allowed us to go across the border frequently without having to deal with arcane sky high costs that other carriers have.

                     

                    "All carriers or major ones it's 90 days per rolling year calendar." There are workarounds; you can port a single number to a Google Voice account for a one-time $20 fee, which is small compared to the costs of holding onto a number with a major carrier indefinitely.

                      • tidbits

                        Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                        For what we have seen since T-Mobile has switched to the new roaming agreement thing with the SImple Choice.  There have been a small handful of people who tried to stay longer than 3 months.  Every single one of them had service suspended (not canceled) until they came back to the states so a month and then went back.  Most of them never used wifi calling.  One of them said he got a text and still had service about excessive roaming, but when asked about the others never responded after their initial "rant" post. 

                         

                        Based on what T-Mobile has said for years about wifi calling.  When using the service it's just as if you were in the USA so one would assume it's not considered roaming of any kind.  If it was there would have to be something saying in their roaming documentation saying it was.

                         

                        You can always Google Voice it.  That's what I did when I finally got out of the military and ended getting a job for the DOD which required me to travel overseas.  I'd be there 6 months on average.  That's how I know the suspension terms of all major carriers   The bad thing though you lose all promotions when you come back.  For example I ended with 10 lines for $160.  I switched to the 55+ because I knew at some point I was going to have to travel to Japan for 6 months and then S. Korea for 4 months after that.

                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                          • adammdavies

                            Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                            tidbits This has been exceptionally helpful and useful information thank you.

                             

                            I think we are going to pursue keeping our T-Mobile lines as this has made me much more optimistic and with contingency plans in place and options.

                             

                            Worst case scenario: we get a notice around 3 months time at which point we can suspend the lines for up to two 90-day periods giving us effectively a 9 month period to keep our account before having to do something more drastic, but we will likely have been back to the States at least once in that time.

                            • thom33062

                              Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                              I travel internationally extensively, often for 60 days or slightly more. Never have there been an issue. Please keep in mind, WiFi calling is IP identified, so the bill will show "Germany (Wi-Fi Call) to " and on same line list it as "Roaming. WiFi call." No charges are associated with the calls to the USA. Those who have Stateside Calling will be charged for International calls which would be free when originating within the USA. The long term solution is to buy a local Sim and use a Dual Sim phone.

                               

                              BTW: Once, I was out of the country for 80 days, then returned to the USA for a week and left again for 2 months. No issues, no suspension. For as close as Toronto is to Buffalo, I would make the trip for a long phone call once in a while.

                              • hung.le@pepperdine.edu

                                Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                                I cannot find anywhere on the T-Mobile website which specifically states the 90-day or 180-day limit. I also cannot find where it mentions the 50% usage must be in WiFi.

                                 

                                In several places, I find this: :The Magenta, T-Mobile ONE, Simple Choice, New Classic and Select Choice plans provide unlimited 2G data, unlimited texting and calling at $0.25 per minute in 210+ countries and destinations. The T-Mobile Essentials plan provides unlimited text and calling at $0.25 per minute (but not data) in 210+ countries and destinations. Log in to My T-Mobile to confirm that you have one of these plans. If you have one of these plans, no need to add a separate feature or service to your account or call Customer Care before you travel. International roaming is included in qualifying plans at no extra charge."

                                 

                                T-Mobile advertises unlimited 2G data and unlimited text for the T-Mobile ONE plan. And for the T-Mobile ONE PLUS, you get 2x the speed.

                                 

                                Can someone please help me understand how T-Mobile offers UNLIMITED 2G data (and 2x the speed with the ONE PLUS plan) and then tells the users that they will block our lines for violating unpublished policies?

                                  • gramps28

                                    Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                                    You need to go to Tmobile's terms and conditions.

                                     

                                    You need to scroll down to prohibited use section.

                                     

                                    https://www.t-mobile.com/responsibility/legal/terms-and-conditions

                                     

                                    Results in more than 50% of your voice and/or data usage being Off-Net (i.e., connected to another provider’s network) for any 2 billing cycles within any 12-month period;

                                    • hung.le@pepperdine.edu

                                      After more searching, I found the information below in the fine print. However, the fine print lacks specific. What is considered extended international use? If most of the data usage is on WiFi while in another country, is that OK? What is the maximum time limit?

                                      Qualifying plan and capable device required for certain international roaming services. Not for extended international use; you must reside in the U.S. and primary usage must occur on our U.S. network. Device must register on our U.S. network before international use. Additional charges apply in excluded destinations; see www.t-mobile.com for included destinations (subject to change at T-Mobile’s discretion). Taxes additional; usage taxed in some countries. Voice and text features for direct communications between 2 people. Communications with premium-rate (e.g., 900, entertainment, high-rate helpline) numbers not included. Calls from Simple Global countries over Wi-Fi are $.25/min (no charge for Wi-Fi calls to US, Mexico and Canada). Coverage not available in some areas; we are not responsible for our partners’ networks. Standard speeds approx. 128 Kbps. Network Management: Service may be slowed, suspended, terminated, or restricted for misuse, abnormal use, interference with our network or ability to provide quality service to other users, or significant roaming. During congestion, Essentials customers may notice speeds lower than other customers; customers using>50GB/mo. on all plans may notice further reduced speeds. On-device usage is prioritized over tethering usage, which may result in higher speeds for data used on device.See T-Mobile.com/OpenInternet for details. See Terms and Conditions (including arbitration provision) at www.T-Mobile.com for additional information.

                                       

                                      Unless explicitly permitted by your Rate Plan or Data Plan, you are not permitted to use your Device or the Services in a way that we determine:

                                      • Uses a repeater or signal booster other than one we provide to you;
                                      • Compromises network security or capacity, degrades network performance, uses malicious software or “malware”, hinders other customers’ access to the network, or otherwise adversely impacts network service levels or legitimate data flows;
                                      • Uses applications which automatically consume unreasonable amounts of available network capacity;
                                      • Uses applications which are designed for unattended use, automatic data feeds, automated machine-to-machine connections, or applications that are used in a way that degrades network capacity or functionality;
                                      • Misuses the Service, including "spamming" or sending abusive, unsolicited, or other mass automated communications;
                                      • Accesses the accounts of others without authority;
                                      • Results in more than 50% of your voice and/or data usage being Off-Net (i.e., connected to another provider’s network) for any 2 billing cycles within any 12-month period;

                                       

                                      It is very confusing. What is Off-Net? T-Mobile offers unlimited 2G data internationally with the T-Mobile ONE and T-Mobile ONE PLUS. How do we use that data outside of the US and still be on T-Mobile's network?

                                        • syaoran

                                          Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                                          The way I interpret the, "Results in more than 50% of your voice and/or data usage being Off-Net (i.e., connected to another provider’s network) for any 2 billing cycles within any 12-month period.", is that if half of your total usage for the year or more is off network (roaming), then T-Mobile has reason to consider suspending or terminating the service.  This makes sense, at least to me, as to why I never see these roaming warning.  I stay within my 5GB data limit per billing cycle and don't make as many calls while roaming. 

                            • cactus-pete

                              Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                              I have the same problem with T-Mobile.  They just texted me that my phone will be disconnected in a month for extended roaming in Canada.  I have had this phone number, along with 2 other lines, for years while in the US and several years ago I started working in Canada, but repreesenting the company in the US as well.  I am Canada for months at a time, visiting the US semi-monthly for a week at a time where I swithch over to T-Mobile as the primary SIM.  I also have two other lines one of which goes back and forth between the US and Canada and another one never leaves the US.  These other two phone usages do not apply to the full account.  Now I am looking for a new carrier or some way around this.  I have wifi at work and at home, but I have a dual sim phone and the Canadian company provided carrier (Telus) does not have 2G so I need to run that as my Data SIM while the roaming T-Mobile up here is Rogers which does have 2G so no data, for now.  This is the only way I can use both phone numbers without carrying two phones all of the time.  Two phones would still not solve this problem.  If I could set up my US number to call forward to my Canadian number when I am up here that would also work, but cannot be done either.

                                • syaoran

                                  Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                                  Roaming in Canada is done on the Bell/Telus network, not the Rogers network.

                                   

                                  This should be interesting.  I had no issues when up in Canada for a month and a half during the spring and being back up there for almost a month from the end of June into July.  I will be heading back to Canada in September for a bit though to spend some more time with family.  I highly doubt I will get any notification about excessive roaming but we shall see.  Two of our three lines will be up in Canada over the Columbus Day long weekend as well.  I rarely ever use WiFi when in Canada because there is no need to.  The 5GB is usually more than enough for a billing cycle for my use. 

                                • cnez07

                                  Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                                  I've read all of the replies in this chain and what I have to say about this is that it is poor customer service and false advertising on T-mobile's part.

                                  I have been a customer with T-mobile for over 5 years. I have 2 lines, one of which I pay for my mother. I have been using T-mobile's gloriously advertised International Package for a couple of years now. It is currently called the ONE Unlimited 55. I live in both Canada and the U.S. I am an international traveler, so as you can imagine the benefit of having roaming as part of my plan has been so beneficial. Let’s not mention that this international plan does cost an additional $25 a month. When I signed up for the package a couple of years ago and since, nobody has ever mentioned there being a capacity to this usage. In fact, you won’t any guidelines or restrictions anywhere in your bill or account details when you look online or in the app directly.

                                   

                                  I’ve done nothing different for the past 5 years in terms of my travels, yet it was only until recently that I started to receive a text message about my usage.

                                  The sudden “crackdown” on roaming, giving customers the extreme option to close their accounts or the actual ceasing of services tells me that someone had to make sudden changes to their terms and conditions because they didn’t have a  strategy to address their issue properly. Their issue (I've called several times) is that we cost them more by roaming in other countries than what we are worth. Now we are experiencing the aftermath of their poor planning and research without a plan B for us, leaving us hanging in the wind trying to figure out what to do next.

                                   

                                  Even when you get through the tiny small type on the website and scroll through the various sections the following is the vague message which I think was probably thrown together when they decided to stop fulfilling their promise to customers. It says please do not abuse this; we may limit or terminate our service if you do. Under what measures? What are the real guidelines? Exact regulations? How is this helpful to anyone? I am sure if we would have been told the truth or have been explained the "rules" some of us could have been more careful in how we use roaming. I am VERY disappointed with them. I thought they were breaking the path for what modern day cell service should be. A lot of people travel now, have different homes and work in different places at certain points in the year. Now T-mobile to me is like every other company. I don't trust them anymore. I can't wait for someone else to come along and blow them all out of the water. We have been fooled and now the rug has been pulled from underneath us.

                                   

                                  I am sure this won't go to rest anytime soon and that there are a lot of people like us!     

                                  • syaoran

                                    Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                                    Based on my experiences with extended roaming up in Canada.  I have never had any warnings, extra fees, or services suspended or terminated.  I am not a heavy user though so that might be why.  I might use 3GB of data a month on average.

                                     

                                    I am originally from Canada and have plenty of family there.  With my grandparents in their mid-80's, I spend a lot of free time up there with them when I can.  Especially around the holidays.

                                     

                                    Canadian services are expensive, slow, and come with contracts!  If you choose a Canadian carrier, expect to pay around $100 a month for a few GB of data and unlimited calling and texting in Canada.  You will pay extra for US calling and potentially texting.  Freedom Mobile is cheap but their coverage and network is a joke!  They also charge uou for domestic roaming, which means leaving Toronto will cost you extra.

                                     

                                    If your usage is less than mine, I would say you should be fine based on my experiences with extended roaming in Canada, which happens to be where I am now until I return January 12th.

                                    • drnewcomb2

                                      Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                                      My understanding is that the cut-off is handled by human review, not a computer program. If for instance, a new customer were to sign up for T-Mobile this week and head off on a two-year overseas deployment, his account might get flagged after 90 days. OTOH, a long-term customer may be able to spend 6 months abroad before being flagged. No one has ever been able to determine the algorithm because there is none. The TOS are worded so as to give T-Mobile the option to suspend your account if they want to, this doesn't mean that they will. 

                                      • dsandefur

                                        Re: Extended Stay Abroad

                                        As per feedback from my corporate account representative - "Yes, a SIM that is permanently roaming will be turned off unfortunately.   It doesn’t take long to catch it, I believe more than 30 days to 45 days abroad puts it on the watch list.   We are not permitted to sell a SIM that we know will be permanently outside of the USA."