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BuckeyeMark

Need help - ran up a big cell phone bill but had Net package

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Yesterday as the Explorer steamed for port suddenly my phone beeped in a text.  AT & T was letting me know that I had a big overage on my cell plan!  How is that possible since I had the Key program and Wifi on the boat?  My phone should've been on Wifi and not hitting the ship's cell tower, running up a big bill?!  

 

Would like to better understand how this works.  Should my phone be in airplane mode?  Did Royal drop the wifi and my phone rolled over to the cell service automatically?  I'm unhappy but wondering if this is my fault, and what to do about it. Thanks.

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you should have been in air plane mode, you would still be able to connect to wifi and bluetooth but being in airplane more or turning off cell data would keep your phone from searching for cell service at all. assuming you were doing somthing that doesnt go through wifi such as messaging or calling (except if its iphone to iphone messages are sent via wifi when available) so your phone defaulted to using its cell signal. im sorry that happened too you because im sure it was an honest mistake, your best bet is to get in touch with AT&T (WHEN ON LAND lol) and see if they will remove some or all of the charges  

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Did you have it on airplane mode?

 

I made this mistake once... I connected to the wifi but left it off of airplane mode. Realized the mistake late on the first night and the bill was over $100.

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Just now, EDiamond22 said:

you should have been in air plane mode, you would still be able to connect to wifi and bluetooth but being in airplane more or turning off cell data would keep your phone from searching for cell service at all. assuming you were doing somthing that doesnt go through wifi such as messaging or calling (except if its iphone to iphone messages are sent via wifi when available) so your phone defaulted to using its cell signal. im sorry that happened too you because im sure it was an honest mistake, your best bet is to get in touch with AT&T (WHEN ON LAND lol) and see if they will remove some or all of the charges  


I will talk to AT&T tomorrow.  Not sure what we we were doing that kicked me off the ship's wifi.  We weren't calling anybody.  Thought I was fine and kinda feel like it shoulda been okay since I had the wifi package.  Guess not!

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Just now, Tree_skier said:

Did you have it on airplane mode?

 

I made this mistake once... I connected to the wifi but left it off of airplane mode. Realized the mistake late on the first night and the bill was over $100.


I don't think I was in airplane mode.  But I'm not in airplane mode right now (here at home) and I'm not using data.  I'm on my home wifi.  So since I was on ship wifi why did I pull cell data?

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1 minute ago, BuckeyeMark said:


I will talk to AT&T tomorrow.  Not sure what we we were doing that kicked me off the ship's wifi.  We weren't calling anybody.  Thought I was fine and kinda feel like it shoulda been okay since I had the wifi package.  Guess not!

did you have surf and stream or just surf?

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I found out that different apps run in the background and run up your phone bill on the ship. Facebook was one. Even though I did not use Facebook on my phone, it still used a lot of data. Look at how much data your apps use. I have AT&T also. I always get a text about the amount of data I have used. I call them and it is always some apps that did it. I did not send any pictures or do anything to run up the bill the second time, yet still I had a big bill. I'm turning it off the next time. 

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1 minute ago, EDiamond22 said:

did you have surf and stream or just surf?


believe I had surf and stream because we had the KEY package.

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2 minutes ago, BuckeyeMark said:


I don't think I was in airplane mode.  But I'm not in airplane mode right now (here at home) and I'm not using data.  I'm on my home wifi.  So since I was on ship wifi why did I pull cell data?

 

I'm sure that there are others that will be able to give you a more technical answer but this is something that happens all the time if you are not in airplane mode.

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1 minute ago, KansasK said:

I found out that different apps run in the background and run up your phone bill on the ship. Facebook was one. Even though I did not use Facebook on my phone, it still used a lot of data. Look at how much data your apps use. I have AT&T also. I always get a text about the amount of data I have used. I call them and it is always some apps that did it. I did not send any pictures or do anything to run up the bill the second time, yet still I had a big bill. I'm turning it off the next time. 


I'm not doubting you but it makes no sense.  when you're phone is on wifi it doesn't need cell data.  it goes through the wifi.  my in-laws live where there is no cell service.  we connect to the wifi and do all kinds of stuff on our phone without any issues. 

my phone was on ship's wifi.  it was running through the ship's wifi and shouldn't have "talked" to the tower on the ship for anything.

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You must maintain your phone on airplane mode. As others said, If you don’t, your phone continues to send and receive data using the celular at sea network at considerably high prices, even if you’re not using your phone. Your phone may have been using WiFi, but if at any point in time it lost that signal, it most likely switched to celular without you even realizing it. 

 

Expensive lesson to learn. 

Edited by Tapi

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1 minute ago, BuckeyeMark said:


believe I had surf and stream because we had the KEY package.

gotcha, not sure what caused the extra charge then. AT&T will be able to tell you exactly what they are charging you for and then if its something you should have been covered with on the ship get a hold of RC. sounds like you have a little bit of phone tag to be playing so i do wish you the best, it does seem like you had your self pretty well cover and could very well be a mistake on either parties side

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also to note, if not in airplane mode your phone will biggyback on the cell service if the wifi signal is weak to help keep speed up for you. ship wifi is not always the best it could have been sharing between the two the whole time 

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So a lot of folks are saying "You need to be in airplane mode."  Okay ... why?  

 

I literally just turned my cell phone's CELL DATA to OFF.  Not hitting a tower.  And it works fine.  Why?  Because it's on wifi.

 

So why did my phone go talk to the ship's tower when it had wifi? It doesn't need to.

Btw, this was day 5 of the cruise.  I used my phone a LOT during the week, surfing all kinds of Internet stuff.  You'd think I would've got a text from AT&T way sooner if this was an issue.  Something happened Saturday afternoon where the phone needed to serve me something off the Internet (probably college fb scores) and it couldn't get them from the wifi.  So it pinged the tower and the meter started running.  WHY DID IT DO THAT?

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1 minute ago, EDiamond22 said:

also to note, if not in airplane mode your phone will biggyback on the cell service if the wifi signal is weak to help keep speed up for you. ship wifi is not always the best it could have been sharing between the two the whole time 



AHA!  Now that's a helpful answer.  Did not know this!!!!  

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4 minutes ago, BuckeyeMark said:

So a lot of folks are saying "You need to be in airplane mode."  Okay ... why?  

Because it’s the way to make sure 100% that what happened to you doesn’t happen. 

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13 minutes ago, BuckeyeMark said:



AHA!  Now that's a helpful answer.  Did not know this!!!!  

 

A ship has a ton of wifi routers around as they only cover so much space, and even less going through metal. So you're constantly moving between routers on the ship. 

 

Always turn on airplane mode and then turn back on what you need if you don't want anything to go through your cellphone provider. 

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11 minutes ago, BuckeyeMark said:



AHA!  Now that's a helpful answer.  Did not know this!!!!  

sorry i should have mentioned that in my first response, this is somthing you can turn off in your settings. can be useful at home if you don't have unlimited data and seem to be cutting it close or going over each month, our phone run alot of apps and auto refreshes in the background if we don't go in and manually turn them off 

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Do you have an iPhone?  If so there is a wifi assist setting that uses data to boost for better coverage when the wifi signal is low.  You can turn it off in your settings.  I found out the hard way when I fell asleep listening to podcasts and they played all night.  I am not sure about other phones, but I am sure they all have something similar.

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1 hour ago, BuckeyeMark said:

So a lot of folks are saying "You need to be in airplane mode."  Okay ... why?  

 

I literally just turned my cell phone's CELL DATA to OFF.  Not hitting a tower.  And it works fine.  Why?  Because it's on wifi.

 

So why did my phone go talk to the ship's tower when it had wifi? It doesn't need to.

Btw, this was day 5 of the cruise.  I used my phone a LOT during the week, surfing all kinds of Internet stuff.  You'd think I would've got a text from AT&T way sooner if this was an issue.  Something happened Saturday afternoon where the phone needed to serve me something off the Internet (probably college fb scores) and it couldn't get them from the wifi.  So it pinged the tower and the meter started running.  WHY DID IT DO THAT?

just because it will work on wifi, does not mean that it will also not use the cell tower if the phone is not in airplane mode and data is turned on. if data is on and the phone is not in airplane mode it is not guaranteed that it will not use cell for data, even if connected to wifi. If it is one the phone will pick what it considers to be the best source for communications, that might be wifi, it might be the cell tower. the only way you can make sure that tower is not used is to put it in airplane mode. if you turn data off you can still get cell charges for texts or calls.

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If you were sharing the WiFi access with another device and that was logged in your phone would the revert back to the cell service.  Also, while we’ve had the internet on our sailings, there are times when I’d lose signal and not being on airplane mode would’ve started pulling data.  I don’t have much that runs background on my phone aside from pulling email automatically but even that little bit can add up if the WiFi signal is weak or non-existent.  
 

You can check with ATT and they might help you out a little, but be prepared to pay unfortunately.

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The suggestion of putting your phone in Airplane mode is always suggested in these threads. However turning off data and roaming is a better option. If for some reason you accidentally come out of airplane mode your phone will connect to data and roaming. Also if you activate WiFi calling before you leave your home you can make WiFi calls via the internet. 

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This is exactly why from the time we leave port to the time we get back I leave my phone in airport mode. I’m not trying to go on the internet or text anybody or anything with my phone other than take pictures. 

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Luckily you have AT&T as a provider. You may be able to negotiate something, but it is your fault. 

 

Laura forgot to put it on WiFi calling once and it cost us $500 for two 30 minute calls. Tmobile gave us around $50 credit, could not do more since it was a pass thru charge from AT&T.

 

Edited by John&LaLa

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