Roam­ing bill costly, too late

Us on­line at www.ftc.gov. bb or www.face­book.com/ Bar­ba­dos­fair­trad­ing­com­mis­sion. You may also visit our of­fices at 2nd Floor Cedar Court, Wildey, St. Michael.

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Front Page -

Dear FTC, I TRAV­ELLED for two weeks’ hol­i­day in mid-april this year. I took my smart­phone be­cause I was not sure about the tele­phone sys­tem at my des­ti­na­tion and I needed to be in con­tact with my fam­ily at home. While there, I used my cell­phone as in­fre­quently as pos­si­ble be­cause I did not want to come home to a huge bill.

At the end of May I re­ceived a bill for $251.32, which was higher than my nor­mal bill. I as­sumed that this re­lated to my hol­i­day. At the end of June, how­ever, I re­ceived a bill for more than $2000, which Flow says re­flects my roam­ing costs! Why did it take so long for them to bill me for roam­ing and what can I do to make sure this doesn’t hap­pen again? – ROAM­ING WRAN­GLE

Dear Roam­ing Wran­gle, There are many rea­sons why this may have oc­curred, one of which is the length of time it takes to de­ter­mine a cus­tomer’s ser­vice use when over­seas. Lo­cal mo­bile com­pa­nies are chal­lenged by the fact that it of­ten takes a long time for them to re­ceive the rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion on your roam­ing ac­tiv­i­ties from their in­ter­na­tional coun­ter­parts. How­ever, here are some ways that you can re­duce your roam­ing costs in the fu­ture.

1) Turn off your data. When your phone is not con­nected to a Wi-fi sig­nal, many back­ground pro­cesses still use data. This of­ten in­cludes down­load­ing videos, mes­sages, and so on that are sent to you over so­cial me­dia.

If you are un­sure of how to turn off the data, turn off your phone un­less you ab­so­lutely mus­tuse it.

2) Turn off your voice­mail. Even though you prob­a­bly won’t be able to ac­cess your voice­mail, your phone will con­tinue to re­ceive it. This in­creases your charges.

3) Be­fore you travel, re­search roam­ing pack­ages that could help you re­duce roam­ing costs. You can also look out for ad­ver­tise­ments when you de­part the air­port, which may high­light such pack­ages.

Re­mem­ber that surf­ing the In­ter­net and watch­ing videos when roam­ing is more ex­pen­sive that when at home.

If you are plan­ning to travel and re­quire fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, feel free to con­tact Cable & Wire­less (Bar­ba­dos) Limited (C&W) at 1-800-8042994.

If you have any ques­tions, email us at info@ftc.gov.bb, call us at 424-0260 or visit

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