Horror Story of the Week: Enormous Roaming Bills

Roaming Bill Mishaps – Imagine yourself in this situation:

If you have ever been in charge of the mobile expense management, chances are there have been times when you have cringed opening your wireless bill. Based on usage, the charges fluctuate, big one month, small the next. If you have ever had a user with roaming charges, then you know how much of an impact usage can make. Those charges can get high, however imagine yourself in this situation:

One of your sales persons, or VP’s are travelling outside of the country on a business trip. They tell you that they anticipate using their phone frequently. In an effort to help reduce the potential costs you make a mental note to call the carrier and add some roaming packages. A few days pass, the user leaves and returns. You don’t think much of it until your wireless bill comes in….. and you nearly die of a heart attack.
Instead of a slightly elevated bill you anticipated, you find enormous roaming charges. Several hundred, maybe a thousand dollars or more of roaming charges for both voice and data show up for that user. How could this happen, you think. What am I going to do about it?

  • If no roaming package was added…

Unfortunately, if you forgot to add the roaming package, there may not be a lot that you can do. Most likely you will just have to suck it up and pay the bill, however, you can call the carrier and plead your case. You may be able to get the charged reduced.

  • If you added a roaming package….

If you are sure that you had asked for the roaming packages to be added, or may be the wrong feature was added,  then you may be able to ask for credits. Get anything you have together; emails if you sent any, who you spoke with, when you called, what was supposed to be added, and then call your corporate rep or the carrier and plead your case. Tell them what was supposed to have happened and what has shown up on your bill. Chances are they will credit to your account as if the packages had been added.  If you have no luck the first time, try again. You may have better luck with someone else.

  • If the user travels out of the country regularly….

You may benefit from adding a roaming saver that stays on their line. This takes away the hassle for both the user, reminding you each time they travel, and you remembering to add the packages. Your carrier may have a variety of packages available for roaming for users who travel often out of the country.
You may also be able to reduce your data roaming costs, by turning your data off while roaming. The user will still be able to connect over Wi-fi, while you avoid costly data roaming charges.


This is a situation where prevention truly is key. Knowing when your user is traveling and how big of a user they are can help you select an appropriate plan so that your users aren’t limited and you aren’t faced with any surprises on your company’s wireless bill.


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